Almost a decade after the Florida SBDC at FIU Business (FSBDC) helped her start her own business, Rosanna Bermejo turned to the Small Business Development Center again. This time, she asked for help for her business, Med Aesthetics Miami, to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The skin care and wellness center was closed for two and a half months while in lockdown. For Bermejo, pivoting into the pandemic meant that virtual consultations with patients became the norm, new products and services were introduced, and in-person treatments were redesigned, thanks in large part to the help of the Paycheck Protection Program ( PPP) that Med Aesthetics Miami received with the FSBDC at the CRF‘s help.
“The PPP was essential to keep our doors open – to keep the employees‘ wages, covering public services – during the lockdown, ”Bermejo said. “The SBA loan allowed us to adapt operations to our new reality.
The FSBDC works hand in hand with local businesses to help them adapt to a new landscape. Today, consultants are seeing a growing demand for advice on financial management and employee retention or recruitment, as well as marketing, e-commerce, website development and social media activation.
“The aim is not only to help these companies overcome the pandemic, but also to make them stronger and more resilient in the future, ”said Brian Van Hook, FSBDC regional director.
Since the start of the pandemic, the FSBDC has helped owners in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties navigate disaster assistance programs, injecting funds into the business‘ hands and develop strategies to overcome the crisis.
As of October 14, the FSBDC had helped 293 small businesses in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties secure $ 40.4 million in COVID-19 assistance:
- $ 18.8 million in assistance to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (P3)
- $ 17.1 million in SBA Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- $ 4.5 million in Florida small business emergency bridging loans.
Small businesses in South Florida are‘No strangers to the disaster and many have successfully recovered from hurricanes, but the pandemic is uncharted territory.
FSBDC consultants guide applicants to the best resources for them, explain eligibility criteria, assist with applications, guide them through the review process, determine how to best use funds, and ensure that they have the right plan for success when conditions improve.
The FIU’s FSBDC, which began providing services in Miami-Dade County in 2014, has helped start more than 193 businesses and helped more than 3,500 local entrepreneurs and small business owners start or keep 9 990 jobs; generate $ 1.33 billion in increased sales; the acquisition of $ 123.3 million in government contracts; and access $ 144.5 million in capital through loans and equity investments.
Med Aesthetics Miami was launched in 2010 and two years later when Bermejo decided to go into the business on her own, she recalls that it was the FSBDC team that helped her develop a mission statement. , establish a brand image, create a website. and get his business off the ground.
“They helped me in the different aspects involved, ”she added. “We went through tough times and kept going. “
Recent funds and advice from FSBDC consultants, Bermejo explained, has helped the Med Aesthetics Miami team establish virtual consultations and digital wellness programs, expand the services they offer, and integrate delivery. home products. She hopes that once the post-COVID-19 future is bright, she‘It will continue to grow virtually and plans to open a new Med Aesthetics Miami center.
“As a company, we‘re operating under a big cloud, ”Bermejo said. “My hope is that the economy continues to open up and that we can maintain stability. “
Resources available for small businesses: