Recognized for its significant assistance to small businesses in South Florida, the Florida SBDC at FIU and its associate director Brian Van Hook received two important state-wide awards from the Florida SBDC Network.
The Florida Best Practice of the Year Award was presented to the Florida SBDC at FIU in recognition of its Bizaster, a mobile disaster-preparedness app. Van Hook received the Florida Employee of the Year Award for his work with Bizaster and the development of an event to help businesses owners protect themselves from cyber threats.
“It’s wonderful for our young center and our team to receive such recognition from the state-wide network,” said Jacqueline Sousa, regional director of the Florida SBDC at FIU. “This only adds to the already-rewarding work we do in helping local businesses grow and succeed.”
The Florida SBDC Network presented the 2017 Performance Excellence Awards at its annual conference in June. These recognize top personnel, volunteers, and partners for their contributions to the network’s mission providing Florida-based business owners with the resources and expertise needed to succeed.
“Our team and I have worked tirelessly on launching the center and expanding our services to better assist Miami-Dade businesses,” said Van Hook. “I am honored to receive this statewide recognition for our hard work from peers in the Florida SBDC Network.”
Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS, assists businesses better prepare themselves, respond to a disaster, and jump-start operations post-disaster. Resources in the app include risk assessments, customizable checklists, and disaster simulations. The app, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, was developed by the Florida SBDC at FIU and the FIU Extreme Events Institute.
For business owners, it is often difficult to identify critical and actionable information to help grow and protect their business. They either do not know where to start; do not think a disaster will impact them; or feel overwhelmed by navigating the multitude of resources out there. Bizaster is intended to put user-friendly disaster preparedness resources into business owners’ hands.
“Our hope is that in making disaster preparedness resources more user-friendly and accessible, we can help more Miami-Dade businesses survive disasters,” said Van Hook.
Since it began in 2014, the College of Business’ Florida SBDC at FIU has helped launch more than 70 businesses in Miami-Dade County and assisted local entrepreneurs and small-business owners access more than $50 million in capital.
To register for one-on-one business assistance from Florida SBDC at FIU, visit their website at: sbdc.fiu.edu
Read more about “Disaster preparedness goes mobile with new app from SBDC at FIU” in BizNews.FIU.edu