SBA Announces 2023 Florida Small Business Week Winners

Miami, FLA. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) South Florida District Director Malcom Richards is proud to announce the 2023 Small Business Week winners for the district and state.  The South Florida district is also home to two national award winners:   SCORE Chapter of the Year and Small Business Development Center of the Year.

“National Small Business Week is the time when SBA recognizes and congratulates those small businesses and champions that are having impact on our loc al, state, and national economies.   We are delighted to work with two nationally recognized Resource Partners: Broward SCORE and SBDC at FIU.  We also like to recognize Orlando Espinosa our 2023 South Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year.  This year’s small business winners from South Florida have demonstrated the innovation, determination, and leadership that typifies the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vibrant in our District.  All businesses make enormous and meaningful contributions to their communities by creating jobs and giving back of their time, talents, and treasures” stated District Director Richards.

The 2023 Small Business Week Award Winners and lenders will be recognized at events around the district during the 31st annual Small Business Week Celebration from April 30 to May 6, 2023.

For more information about local winners or programs available through the Small Business Administration, please visit us at or call (305) 536-5521.

2023 Small Business Development Center of the Year

National Winner

South Florida District and State of Florida

Florida International University SBDC (Miami, Florida)

Brian Van Hook, Director

2023 SCORE Chapter of the Year

National Winner

Broward SCORE (Broward County, Florida)

George Gremse, Chapter Chairman

2023 South Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year

Orlando Espinosa, Emineo Media (Miami, Florida)

2023 South Florida District and State of Florida Small Business Persons of the Year

Karina Doracio & Luis Contreras, AmePower (Miami, Florida)

2023 South Florida District Woman Business Owner of the Year

Rochelle Graham-Campbell, Black Oynx World (Fort Myers, Florida)

2023 South Florida District Minority Business Owner of the Year

Mark Clifton, Spathe Systems (Tampa, Florida)

2023 South Florida District and State of Florida Rural Business Owners of the Year

Dustin Blank & Stacey Howell, B&H Farms (Immokalee, Florida)

2023 South Florida District Exporter of the Year

Christopher McKenney, Mango Publishing (Coral Gables, Florida)

2023 South Florida District Women’s Business Center of the Year

Jaime Brock, weVenture (Melbourne, Florida)

The 2023 Small Business Week Award Winners and lenders will be recognized at events around the district during the 31st annual Small Business Week Celebration from April 30 to May 6, 2023.


Content Marketing Statistics You Need To Know For 2021

As we enter 2021, it’s clear that the face of content marketing is shifting more rapidly than ever. Lockdowns are drastically altering consumer habits all over the globe, and businesses of all sizes are being forced to adapt.

The digital space is now a tightly contested marketing hotspot. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial to understand current industry trends and to be able to identify the areas where you can potentially capitalize and improve.

To equip you with the most recent data, Semrush surveyed over 1,500 marketers from different countries and analyzed over 17,000 content marketing positions on the largest active job posting sites.

They also compared the report’s findings against the 2019 edition of the survey, in order to try and highlight longer-term trends and insights – with some interesting results.

View the full article here: Semrush


The Law of Reciprocity

As an entrepreneur, you have countless relationships you need to manage on a daily basis. There are your employees. There are the vendors who provide needed support services to help you run your business. And of course, there are also your customers.

Maintaining quality relationships with each of these groups will prove vital for your lasting success. And perhaps the best way to ensure that you enjoy strong relationships is to make ure that you always follow the law of reciprocity.

As sales training authority Brian Tracy wrote in a blog post, the law of reciprocity is “considered by many to be the most powerful law of human nature. Basically, it states that, ‘If you do something nice for me I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.’”

So, how exactly do you put the law of reciprocity into real-life practice?

Start by building trust.

Building trust with consumers, particularly those who have never interacted with your brand before, is key By giving something of value away for free — as the law of reciprocity details — you establish your industry authority and demonstrate that you have your customers’ best interests at heart.

This is why you see so many startups, (particularly SaaS companies), offer free trials that allow users to try those companies’ services before buying. It’s why many industry authorities post a wealth of blog posts sharing actionable information, or share free ebooks with their users.

As Impact BND’s Ramona Sukhraj highlighted in an article, “GoToWebinar reportedly sees around 40 percent of its free trial-users convert into paid plans, while the best-in-class softwares see more than 60 percent.”

As Sukhraj continued, a free trial for SaaS prospects lets them “see behind the curtain.” It lets them experience what your product looks like, how it functions and how they personally will interact with it.

This builds trust in potential customers because they know exactly what to expect from your products or services. With other business relationships, a similar strategy of offering advice or assistance free of charge will go a long way in building a positive foundation for your relationship.

Continually show appreciation.

Building trust at the beginning of a customer relationship is vital. But to continue to enjoy that strong relationship for many years, you must periodically show your appreciation.

As Satwick Saxena of EvaBot, noted, “According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, 68 percent of customers end a business relationship because they don’t feel appreciated or cared about. That’s a lot more than the 14 percent who ditch a business because they don’t like the product.”

Added Saxena, “When you show appreciation to your customers, it humanizes you. It makes them realize that you know them and they matter.” And that humanizing builds loyalty, which may give you a life-long customer, Saxena said, as well as bring you a referral or recommendation.

Loyal customers often appreciate special offers or discounts — especially when these offers are personalized based on previous purchases. This can greatly increase the likelihood of these customers making additional purchases.

A CMSWire case study is relevant here.  It revealed that “in a recent 12-month period, businesses with a 40 percent level of repeat customers generated 47 percent more revenue than similar businesses with only a 10 percent level of repeat customers.”

The same principles are vital for retaining your most valued employees. While positive affirmations and words of thanks can help employees feel appreciated, tangible items like a promotion, raise or bonus can foster greater loyalty among your top performers. 

Incentivize your audience.

Sometimes, you can be up-front with how you use the law of reciprocity and still go a long way toward strengthening your brand. Your current customers are often willing to do something that helps that brand when they know they will receive something of value in return.

Few examples of this principle are better than that Dropbox. As a case study reported on by Overthink Group revealed, Dropbox used its referral program to grow from 100,000 to 4 million users in a 15-month period. The key to this success?

“Referring your friends and family to DropBox makes your account more valuable,” the case study reported. “Free users automatically get 2 gigabytes of cloud storage, and every referral earns you an additional 500 megabytes … the referral program is framed as a benefit to the user.” 

Highlighting the free storage space users would get for each referrals created a highly engaged audience willing to invite others to join Dropbox. Today, Dropbox has over 500 million users — not a bad result for a company that gives away some free storage.

Give before you receive.

At the end of the day, the most important element of the law of reciprocity is that you be willing to give away something of value without expecting something in return. 

Whether you choose to use words of affirmation with a top employee, offer meaningful gifts to a loyal client or demonstrate added trust with a business partner, you will strengthen the relationships that matter most for your business’s growth and build a positive brand image.

You won’t always get something tangible in return. But by increasing customer loyalty, employee productivity and more, your company will get the growth it needs to succeed.

Source: Entrepreneur Inc