A key part of SATOP’s communications strategy has been to form alliances with Economic Development Organizations (EDO) to raise awareness of the program’s offer of free technical assistance for small businesses.

That strategy has been a resounding success thanks to the ongoing efforts of EDOs such as the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Fla. (BDB). A SATOP-allied EDO for many years, the BDB has advised numerous small businesses to access the program for help.

“The Palm Beach County BDB has been an important EDO for SATOP since 1998 and reaches many small business owners who otherwise might not be aware of our services,” said Christophe Gilfriche, SATOP Florida director.

The BDB promotes SATOP via targeted mailings, distribution of SATOP brochures, and discussions about the program whenever BDB staff has interactions with small businesses.

“SATOP is a great resource for BDB to bring to the table during our meetings with new or existing businesses,” said Becky Magaw, BDB vice president of business development. “For companies that are struggling with some sort of technical issue, SATOP’s offer of free service is of incredible value because accessing consultants is often out of reach for small business.”

SATOP is just one of the valuable programs that the BDB offers to Palm Beach County businesses. The BDB acts as a one-stop resource for the essential information and assistance an expanding or relocating company may require, thus enabling companies to make well-informed business decisions. All services are provided free of charge.

Palm Beach County’s Business Development Board provides small business and entrepreneurial developers with such research services as:

• Demographics, business statistics and other vital support information required by companies in the process of making a business relocation decision.
• Labor availability, wages, taxes, quality of life (housing costs, education, culture, recreation, area amenities).
• State and county economic analysis of key business factors.
• List of Palm Beach County’s top employers.
• Information on local buyers and suppliers.
• Detailed information on Palm Beach County’s infrastructure.

Founded in 1982 by chambers of commerce, the Economic Council, and other business leaders, the BDB is a private, not-for-profit corporation designated by the state as Palm Beach County’s official economic development organization. The BDB’s mission is to attract and retain business investment and high quality jobs in Palm Beach County by means of corporate relocations, expansions and international trade. During the past five years, the BDB assisted 143 companies, creating 9,872 primary jobs, 19,746 secondary jobs and an estimated annual payroll over $1.2 billion.

One of the local businesses assisted by both the BDB and SATOP is The Anspach Effort, a BDB member located in Palm Beach Gardens. The company had experienced an issue with spikes in the particle count in its clean room facilities. Anspach asked SATOP for help and the particle count issue was resolved in a timely manner, allowing the Anspach to avoid delays and large expenditures that could have drained the company’s resources.

“If my experience is typical of the positive results that SATOP offers, I can think of no better place to start looking for expertise,” said Gary Riggs, manufacturing engineering manager for The Anspach Effort. Magaw echoed Riggs’ praise, saying, “SATOP’s services and resources are so varied and so professional that I always feel confident making a referral to the program. I can rely on SATOP to solve the technical challenges facing our local small businesses.”