CenterState Bank Gives Another $5,000 to Support Small Business Growth

August 1, 2012

CenterState Bank has made an additional donation of $5,000 through its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) program to support the Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc.’s microloan fund to help small business growth in Pasco County.

John Walsh, Skip Skairus, Jimmy Adcock, Skip Miller

“This is a great way of making possible short-term, fixed-rate, fixed-payment loans to start-ups and newly established small businesses in Pasco County,” says Skip Skairus, Senior Vice President, CenterState Bank. “Pasco EDC expressed a need for its microloan fund, and we believe it is important to support small business growth in our community.” “CenterState’s donation to the fund is perfect timing,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “The microloan fund has really taken off, and we have been concerned that we might run out of money.” Thus far, Pasco EDC has awarded five microloans to a variety of companies, including a local pediatrician (Personal Pediatric Care), a minority-owned insurance company (Good Faith Insurance Services), a “mompreneur” who invented the The GoCaddy™ (BVT Products, LLC), a mobile medical testing business (Tampa Bay Urodynamics), and a company that sells fire safety equipment (Suncoast Fire Safety). Hagen is asking banks and business professionals to refer people to Pasco EDC who may be turned down for a loan because their borrowing needs are too small or they have limited credit history, but have a great business idea. “We may be able to help them,” said Hagen, “Once they launch or grow their business, the bank can continue its relationship with them and make the next loan when they are commercially viable. It’s a win-win-win.” The microloan program lends money to small businesses located in Pasco County, and offers entrepreneurs free technical assistance and training to help work through challenges they may face in starting or growing a new business. “The entrepreneurial spirit is growing in Tampa Bay, and it is important that we support our local entrepreneurs. We want them to succeed,” said Hagen. Hagen added that there are future plans to take the microloan program to the next level. Pasco EDC is working with the SBA office to apply for a $750,000 grant in 2013 to become an official SBA Microloan Intermediary in an effort to spur even more small business growth in Pasco County.

Jennifer Lachtara
Jennifer Lachtara
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