January 25, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hal Thayer, Communications Director, FSBDC at UCF, 407.420.4850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Orlando, FL – Imagine moving your home more than 1200 miles and starting a new business in a new and unfamiliar city… simultaneously. Sounds like a steep climb, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what Judy and Gary Lemay did. And they couldn’t be happier.
They have fallen in love with their new hometown of Palm Coast and its residents, “the nicest people in the world” according to the Lemays. At the same time, they have successfully launched and are now watching their new company, Bedtops Mattress Clearance Center, build a loyal customer base and grow into a profitable local business.
Bedtops Mattress Clearance Center sells brand new, name brand, direct-from-the-manufacturer mattresses which allows them to offer their customers the lowest possible prices. “Make us your last stop and best stop in mattress buying,” says Judy Lemay. Our company prides itself in making deliveries available using local people who are polite and caring. “We’re all family here” states Judy.
The Lemays will be the first to tell you they didn’t get the business up and running and growing alone. “We didn’t know the market. We didn’t know what location to pick. We didn’t know if we’d get a warehouse,” says Gary Lemay. “So, the first thing we did was go to the Palm Coast Business Assistance Center (BAC). That’s where we found the Florida SBDC at UCF-Palm Coast and FSBDC consultant Mike Oppenheim. Mike and the FSBDC have made all the difference.”
The Florida SBDC offers entrepreneurs and business owners expert, no-cost consulting, business training workshops and seminars and access to major market research database resources. Thanks to Oppenheim, the Lemays were able to benefit from many of these services.
“At the beginning, I’m not sure how fast we would have moved,” remarked Judy Lemay. “We were pretty sure we could be successful. But after we met with Mike Oppenheim, we said ‘We can do this. We can make this happen.’ And so we did.”
The FSBDC provided the Lemays with the outline for how to open their business in Palm Coast. Through Oppenheim, it provided tax information they needed, direction on signing up for a resale certificate, market data on local demographics and possible warehouse /sales office locations. All in the Lemay’s first meeting with him.
“As an entrepreneur, when you get excited about your business, sometimes you can be tempted to spend money too fast,” continued Gary Lemay. “You want to do this. You want to do that. You see opportunities everywhere. That’s where the FSBDC came in. We were fortunate to have Mike advising us because he would get our feet back on the ground and help us take things one step at a time.”
“To all the entrepreneurs out there, we say ‘Go use the resources of the FSBDC’ because there’s going to be something you didn’t think of or something you didn’t plan for. And when that happens, the folks at the FSBDC have your back. It’s the only way to go.”
— FSBDC —
About the FSBDC at UCF
With its main office in the National Entrepreneur Center located at the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) is part of the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization and the Florida SBDC Network (FSBDC Network). THE FSBDC at UCF provides business seminars and no-cost, one-on-one business consultation to emerging and established businesses. The FSBDC at UCF serves an eight-county area that includes Brevard, Flagler, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties and maintains 10 service centers across Central Florida.
In 2015, the FSBDC at UCF served almost 7,000 entrepreneurs in Central Florida through consulting and training, resulting in more than 7,300 jobs created, retained or saved; $990 million in sales growth; $74.4 million in capital formation; $101.7 million in government contract awards; and 111 new businesses started.
About the FSBDC Network
The FSBDC at UCF is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network is hosted by the University of West Florida and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
For over 35 years, the FSBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. The FSBDC Network is a statewide service system of 41 centers with 60 outreach locations, including the FSBDC at UCF.
In 2015, the Florida SBDCs served almost 45,500 entrepreneurs and small business owners through consulting and training, resulting in 217,849 jobs created, retained or saved; $29.3 billion in sales growth; $947.4 million in capital accessed; $2.1 billion in government contract awards; and 3,857 new businesses started.