Hillsborough County offers free resource for business owners affected by pandemic


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Doublemint Sitting LLC. saw a record-breaking month for their babysitting business, and then the pandemic hit and brought business to a standstill.

“Everything came to a halt. We went from doing over 500 bookings a week to doing 50 bookings a week,” said Doublemint co-owner Synthia Fairman.

Fairman said they immediately contacted the Hillsborough ECC, a free resource many small business owners may not know about.

The Hillsborough Entrepreneur Collaborative Center provides free resources, workshops and training for businesses.

“We had no idea what a business really truly entailed. They sat us down and they made a checklist and said this is what you guys need done. So we have continuously gone to them for guidance and help. During Covid when we needed to apply for the loans they walked us through it, and helped if we ever had any questions about payroll,” said Fairman.

“We serve as a one stop shop for business owners to seek resources and assistance, whether they’re starting out, just with an idea, or an existing business ready to grow, or the case now with COVID-19, where they need to pivot. The first few weeks when Covid hit we were slammed with phone calls. We were acting as a call center for businesses who were desperate for resources and assistance in guidance on where to go,” said Hillsborough Entrepreneur collaborative Center Manager Lynn Kroesen.

The ECC offers:

  • One-stop shop for entrepreneurial resources and information, collaboration, and mentoring
  • Host to more than 2,300 programs and 34,000 participants since opening in December 2014
  • Supported by more than 80 business and community partners
  • State-of-the-art technology and collaborative space for local non-profits and agencies to host networking and engagement events
  • Home of the FSBDC at Hillsborough County
  • Host site for 1 Million Cups Tampa startup presentations and networking

To get involved or subscribe to the ECC newsletter click here.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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