Last Friday, the St. Cloud Community Center was bustling with activity as local entrepreneurs and business owners gathered for a One-Stop Shop Business Resource Expo entitled, “How to do Business in St. Cloud.”  Hosted by the City of St. Cloud, and led by the City’s Economic Development Director, Antranette Forbes, the expo provided a unique platform for business networking and growth opportunities within the community.

The expo featured an impressive lineup of prominent organizations committed to fostering business development and innovation. Participants included:

  • St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce: Facilitated connections between local businesses and community leaders.
  • CareerSource Florida: Offered resources for workforce development and employment opportunities.
  • UCF Business Incubator: Shared insights on business mentorship and developmental programs.
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: Provided support for Hispanic-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • National Entrepreneur Center: Gave guidance on entrepreneurship and starting new ventures.
  • GrowFL: Specialized in helping existing businesses accelerate growth through strategic research and peer-driven learning.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): Highlighted federal resources and loans available to small businesses.
  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) from UCF: Offered expert advice and strategic planning for small businesses.
  • Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC): Shared resources on sustainable business practices and cost-saving utilities.
  • Central Florida International Trade Office: Offered assistance on entering or expanding into international markets.
  • Prospera: Provided expertise in business consulting tailored to Hispanic entrepreneurs.
  • City of St. Cloud: Highlighted local initiatives and city resources aimed at supporting business growth.
  • Osceola Chamber: Shared their mission to be champions for business and the Osceola community.

The City of St. Cloud’s business expo not only aimed to empower local businesses but also to integrate them into the larger network of regional economic development. Antranette Forbes emphasized the importance of such events in her remarks, stating, “We are here not only to connect business owners with resources but also to integrate them into a community that champions economic success on all levels.”

Attendees of the expo benefited from personalized consultations, workshops on business strategies, and networking opportunities that are crucial for business expansion and sustainability. The event underscored St. Cloud’s commitment to nurturing an environment conducive to business success and innovation.

Given the success of this year’s expo, plans are already underway for next year’s event, which promises to bring even more resources and opportunities for local businesses to thrive. St. Cloud continues to demonstrate its dedication to economic growth and community collaboration through such impactful events.

For more details on the expo or to explore the resources discussed, attendees and those interested are encouraged to visit the city’s economic development website,