Gulf Power customers poised to start, grow or relocate a business now have a “one-stop shop” for connecting all the local resources that can help business owners succeed in Northwest Florida. Gulf Power’s newly enhanced business website includes a Small Business Connect tool that brings together information from multiple resources into a single user-friendly site.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” said Rick DelaHaya, Gulf Power spokesperson. “The Small Business Connect tool brings all of the top local resources into one database for starting, growing and keeping businesses in Northwest Florida.”
The Small Business Connect tool consolidates information about 92 different services and resources provided by 64 organizations and provides step-by-step guidance to help customers in every stage of the business cycle. The database helps connect small business customers with services and resources provided for free by local business support partners.
“Business owners can find everything from new buildings and sites to incentives and training programs that can help their business grow,” said DelaHaya. “Our commitment to Northwest Florida’s economic growth directly supports our mission to help build strong communities.”
The Small Business Connect tool is designed to be responsive to the needs of businesses. By answering self-guided questions about their business needs, the database filters results to websites geared toward services and resources such as help hiring new employees, local industry and trade associations, education data and information about small business loans and grants.
Gulf Power worked with economic and business development partners across Northwest Florida to compile the database and reorganize the website into a user-friendly resource. The goal was to be responsive to the business community, and to provide another online business tool to assist business growth in the region.
“This is an incredibly useful tool,” said Scarlett Phaneuf, vice president of Bay Economic Development Alliance. “It’s simple, easy to use and directs business owners and entrepreneurs to the correct agency that can assist them with their needs,” said Phaneuf. “We receive inquiries from businesses in various stages, and we’ll be referring everyone to this site.”
Along with resource information, the new site also provides a free energy-saving e-newsletter, and an available Energy Checkup for businesses to learn about energy efficiency and tools to save costs. Business owners can get detailed rate comparisons to make sure the rates fit their business and help save money.