Summit promotes economic gardening
By Sara K. Clarke
April 27, 2010
About 50 small-business owners are to gather this morning in hopes of picking up growth tips from local peers and some large companies.
The GrowFL Second-Stage CEO Summit aims to introduce growth-oriented companies to some of the region's business powerhouses, such as Walt Disney World, Florida Hospital and GrayRobinson.
Organizers invited certain small businesses to attend the inaugural program and asked them whom they wanted to meet. The resulting list included potential clients, mentors and partners.
"Hopefully, the second-stage company will make some contacts, meet some people that will help their business grow," said Tom O'Neal, executive director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute.
In the throes of recession, state officials have turned to "economic gardening" to help create jobs within existing Florida businesses. The institute, based at the University of Central Florida, was established by the state last year as part of a $1.5 million pilot program. It provides assistance to expanding businesses statewide.