The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation (Tampa BBIC) is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) created in 1987 to meet the need for capital and capacity-building services among African American entrepreneurs who were then entering the business community in growing numbers. Today, Tampa BBIC serves entrepreneurs of all races, with a continued focus on borrowers who are not yet ready to access bank loans. We continue to serve African American entrepreneurs primarily, across five of the eight counties that comprise Florida’s Tampa Bay region (Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties). Tampa BBIC products and services are tailored to the needs of 1) credit-ready firms that have already accessed business capital; 2) new borrowers who need help developing a viable plan and loan application; and 3) emerging and struggling entrepreneurs who – with intensive support – can build capacity to access capital.
Our value proposition is that we provide “accessible, flexible capital,” combined with development services that help entrepreneurs expand their credit capacity, offering loan sizes not offered through banks ($500 to $100,000), at interest rates that can be less costly than bank products, with underwriting that permits credit scores that are lower than the disqualifying threshold for many banks.
Clearwater Office Contact Information
Marilyn Turman, Independent Business Consultant 900 N. MLK Jr. Ave. Clearwater, FL 33755 (Located inside the North Greenwood Aquatic & Recreation Center)
SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nationwide nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed. Pinellas County SCORE offers free personal and confidential mentoring, educational workshops and business tools. Business mentoring services are provided by both active and retired business executives and entrepreneurs who donate their time and expertise as mentors. Our free workshops cover a broad variety of topics including writing a business plan, advertising and marketing strategies, negotiating leases, applying for patents and registering trademarks, and navigating local government licensing and regulatory issues. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development (FSBDC @ PCED) works to connect local entrepreneurs to business resources and strategic solutions for expansion and growth. Through professional workshops and business counseling sessions as well as local, regional and statewide partnerships, FSBDC @ PCED fosters a pro-business climate in Pinellas County, Florida. As a partner of the Clearwater Business SPARK network, our team provides dedicated, certified consultants with the expertise to guide and support the exploration of innovative ideas for emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses, helping to accelerate business growth.
City of Clearwater Economic Development & Housing Department
The City of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing Department serves as lead coordinator of the network’s Executive Board and Advisory Committee, and actively seeks additional partners to add to our strong support system, as well as securing sponsorships. Economic Development and Housing provides the network access to incentive and grant opportunities, office/retail and industrial site selection assistance, business licensing and permitting and regulatory assistance.
The Clearwater Public Library System is an active partner of Clearwater Business SPARK, providing valuable, no-cost access to information, resources and educational opportunities to support business endeavors. Clearwater Main Library, located at 100 N. Osceola Avenue, is the first library in Pinellas County to offer a comprehensive array of maker studios. These collaborative learning environments are where people can meet, socialize and share innovative ideas, explore technologies, and learn new skills. In addition to these new DIY labs, the Library system provides entrepreneurial support, expert reference services, business training and seminars, computer and Wi-Fi access, study rooms and meeting spaces to get you to the next level.
Prospera (Formerly known as HBIF) is the leading Hispanic economic development, nonprofit organization that specializes in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their businesses. For over 25 years, Prospera has provided business seminars, individual consulting sessions, access to business grants and loan facilitation process. These resources help support Hispanic entrepreneurs at no cost. As a partner of Clearwater Business Spark, our team of business development consultants is dedicated to guide and support the Hispanic entrepreneurs in building, developing and growing their business.
SPC's Workforce Institute offers training, continuing education, industry certifications, licensures and career pathways that are affordable and accessible to goal-oriented individuals and businesses committed to accelerated professional growth. Our industry experts teach the skills that entrepreneurs are looking for so you can get it done and get ahead.
SPC’s Collaborative Labs designs and executes strategic-planning sessions and facilitates organizational problem solving using a unique approach that incorporates interactive technology, strength-based techniques and real-time documentation to develop an actionable plan that produces tangible results.
13805 58th St. N. in Clearwater, 33760 (727) 791-5978 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce is a founding partner of Clearwater Business SPARK and supports the network with strategies and initiatives to encourage innovation among existing businesses, and to promote entrepreneurship and new business development both locally and throughout the region. Some of the Chamber’s priorities for the network include recruitment of employers and jobs to Clearwater, working with educators to support curriculum for job training, and elevating the profile of Clearwater regionally and beyond. In addition, the Chamber facilitates community involvement through mentorship, educational programs and seminars, collaborative opportunities and committee engagement. Visit the Chamber’s website for exclusive discounts and free installation on Bright House business internet services, and receive $50 toward a Chamber membership or renewal.