TAMPA, Fla. — Struggling with a new small business in the Bay area? There's a resource at the University of South Florida you may not be aware of that might be able to help.

  • Florida Small Business Development Center at USF brought $685.4M in sales to region in 2018
  • Program designed to help new business owners succeed
  • Learn more at https://sbdctampabay.com/

At The Glowing Tree Kids Spa in Tampa Palms, it's all about self-love.

“Letting them know they’re not only beautiful on the outside, but also on the inside,” said owner Thaimi Deya.

Deya has been pampering little princesses since launching her business in May.

“My inspiration was definitely my daughter," she explained. "She’s eight years old and I just wanted to create a space where kids could feel safe and learn about wellness and have fun at the same time."

She did it with the help of the Florida Small Business Development Center at USF.

The program is designed to provide new business owners with resources to succeed.

Many, like Deya, work with a consultant.

“They provided me with the knowledge and the tools that I needed to create my business plan. Do I know my demographics? Have I identified the territory?” she said.

In 2018, 45 percent of SBDC's clients were women, 16 percent were veterans, and 47 percent were minorities.

“Just thinking that there’s an organization out there that takes that into consideration, that knows how hard it is to open your own business, definitely makes you feel safe or makes you feel even more confident,” Deya said.

As a result of its consulting and training services, the SBDC at USF brought $685.4 million in sales to the region in 2018.

For more information, visit https://sbdctampabay.com/.