Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cape Coral, Florida has a Bright Future

Lee county and Cape Coral, Florida specifically, have had an up and down economic roller coaster ride over the past decade.  The dramatic fluctuations were directly tied to the housing boom and bust over the last several years. SW Florida was not alone in this bubble, but it was one of the hardest hit areas in the country when the bubble burst.  It has been a long road back to recovery for many small businesses and citizens of Cape Coral. I have had the pleasure of working with local business owners as well as the city of Cape Coral and I am encouraged at the positive outlooks I encounter on both sides.  There is still a long way to go, but with a positive outlook and energetic small business base, Cape Coral is ready to put in the work to get this city thriving again.  Housing values are increasing and the inventory of houses for sale is decreasing.  This is creating a great atmosphere for growth and potential investment.
I recently had the pleasure of participating as a business coach in the Goodwill sponsored, SW Florida MicroEnterprise program. I have included information about the program below as well as a link to their website.  The most recent class to graduate from the Cape Coral class was busting with ideas and motivation.  The types of businesses being launched range from home day care and home health care to small engine repair and bio-hazard cleanup.  The MicroEnterprise  program is creating jobs for our local economy one business at a time.  It is this dedication and determination of future business owners that is going to bring more people and more businesses to Cape Coral, Florida.

The MicroEnterprise Institute was founded in 2010 to help aspiring entrepreneurs who have low-to-moderate income levels, disadvantaged, and/or unemployed, and who live in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties of Florida. The Institute provides a six week training program to develop a Feasibility Plan so that the participates can evaluate their idea and see if it, in fact, can become a viable business. After graduation they are eligible to apply to Goodwill for a micro-loan collateral guarantee that, if approved, will enable them to receive a micro-loan of between $2,000-$5,000 from a local community bank to help them kick start their new enterprise. We now have 138 graduates and 42 of them have started new businesses creating over 55 new jobs in the area. It is our projection that by 2015 the graduates of the MicroEnterprise Institute will have created over 500 new jobs and added significantly to the economic improvement of the area. Information and applications can be found HERE or by calling (239) 995-2106 Ext. 2219. 

Thank you for your continued support and the AAE Glass Art Studio will be doing its part to help develop and support small businesses of all kinds in Cape Coral, Florida.  

Mark Veit

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