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Business Assistance Expo today at Club Square

By Staff | Mar 12, 2011

Cape Coral’s Economic Development Office hopes Saturday’s Business Assistance Expo will be a draw to most everyone in the business community, whether they’re operating an existing business or are hoping to start one.
As a “one stop shop,” the expo is bringing together a wide variety of local agencies to both make information easily available, and to spread the word that Cape Coral is now a business friendly enclave.
This is the second year for the expo, which this year will run from 8 a.m. to noon.
EDO Business Development Coordinator Christy Vogt said the inaugural event drew roughly 100 people, but moving this year’s expo to an earlier date will catch more snowbirds still in town, or people on vacation.
The expo is being held at Club Square in the Community Redevelopment Agency boundaries, where the Farmer’s Market also will be taking place today.
“A lot of people are thinking of moving here and now the time is right for buying property,” Vogt said. “We’re going to have the details about what they need. Any questions about business, anything to do with business, it’s a good reason to stop by.”
Some of the agencies scheduled to be on hand include the Florida Department of Financial Services, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Small Business Development Center, Cape Coral’s Community Development Department and EDO, Edison State College and the Florida Women’s Business Center.
Southwest Florida Works also will be on hand to let new and potential business owners that the agency offers no-cost business assistance.
Services offered include recruitment, job fairs and seminars, conference space, pre-screening and partnerships with economic development agencies across the county.
“We want to see people interested in starting a business and employers already in business who are increasing their productivity or enhancing their opportunities,” said Southwest Florida Works’ Barbara Hartman. “We just want to expand the business community’s knowledge that these services are available at no cost to them.”
The CRA will also have a presence at the expo, sharing information about opening a business in Cape Coral’s downtown, as well as information about its the Rental Assistance Program and facade grants.
CRA Economic Development Director Helen Ramey said the day will provide an opportunity for people get a lot of information in a very casual setting.
“For people who are looking for career or economic development opportunities, this will be an informal setting for them to get that information,” Ramey said. “It will be a very busy day. There will be the one-stop shop for the expo, but also a fun-filled event at Club Square.”
For more information on the event, call the city’s Economic Development Office at 574-0444.