Jax business agency receives $7,500 check for development

An agency in Palatka, the objective of which is to promote new small businesses and assist established small businesses, was the recipient of a multi-thousand-dollar donation. 

Earlier this month, Jacksonville’s 121 Financial Credit Union presented a $7,500 check to the state Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida. 

The development center has a branch in Palatka that has hosted numerous fairs, meetings and informational sessions to promote small businesses in Putnam County. 

A shortage of funding for the department put some of the Palatka branch development center’s function in limbo, which makes 121 Financial’s gift so special, according to Janice Donaldson, the director of the development center at UNF. 

“When these dollars came up short and the future of the Putnam County SBDC was in jeopardy, 121 stepped up and provided this generous donation to keep small business assistance available on a full-time basis,” Donaldson said in a statement. “We can’t thank 121 enough for its support of small business lending and of the (development center) in Putnam County.”

Since its establishment in Putnam County, the development center has helped created numerous jobs. Development center officials regularly counsel small business owners and people interested in opening businesses to provide business tips and information. 

In February 2015, development center officials said the agency helped establish 20 businesses in Putnam County during the previous year, and there were more than 1,000 consulting hours. 

Donaldson said 121 Financial has played a prominent role in funding efforts for the Palatka office.
“Many of our (development center) clients are looking for access to capital, and we have come to rely on 121 Financial Credit Union as the primary source of this funding in Putnam County,” she said in a statement. 

David Marovich, 121 Financial’s chief operating officer, said the partnership with the development center is mutual and a key to success. 

“The (development center) at UNF provides a huge value to our small businesses,” he said in a statement. “They provide a roadmap so when the business owner is ready for a loan, they are prepared. In fact, two recent Florida (small business) award recipients were our members.”