Technical and Research Assistance

Manufacturing Assistance  

The EDC, through the Florida Manufacturing Extension Partnership (FMEP), helps small-to-medium-size companies identify barriers to productivity and implement solutions and provide program management in a cost-effective manner.  The FMEP provides manufacturing engineering, technical and management assistance in numerous areas to help improve profitability, productivity, and competitiveness for the Florida manufacturing community.

USF Connect

USF Connect is your link to a wide range of small business development services available at the   University of South Florida (USF).  It was created to provide a single point of contact for resources like technology, financing, marketing, management, partners and support services that can accelerate and support the growth of your business.  For more information contact the university at 813-866-3802.

Florida High Tech Corridor Council

The Florida High Tech Corridor Council's mission is to attract, retain and grow high tech industry, and to help develop the workforce to support those industries within the 23-county service areas of the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF).  The primary focus of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) has been to foster applied research between Corridor universities and their high tech industry partners.  The majority of the Councils funding has been allocated to this effort.  Successful companies have obtained grants for applied research projects in a variety of disciplines including agritechnology; aviation and aerospace; digital media/interactive entertainment; financial services; information technology; life sciences/biotechnology; microelectronics/nanotechnology; modeling, simulation and training; optics and photonics; and sustainable energy.  For more information, call 407-562-1900.


Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program encourages small business to engage in federal research and development with the potential to commercialize the resulting product.  SBIR eligibility criteria:  American-owned and independently operated, for-profit, principal researcher must be employed by business, and the business must have 500 or fewer employees.  For more information, contact the EDC at 941.309.1200.


Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program facilitates cooperative research and development between small businesses and U.S. research institutions with the potential to commercialize the resulting product.  STTR eligibility criteria:  American-owned and independently operated, for-profit, principal researcher need not be employed by small business, company size limit is 500 employees (no size limit for nonprofit research institution).   For more information, contact the EDC at 941.309.1200.

Internal Revenue Service Resources

This site is dedicated to the self-employed individual and includes a plethora of information from starting a business, operating the business, the necessary forms to file, an advocacy service, and much more.

Florida Tax Guide

Major taxes collected in Florida include sales and use tax, intangible tax and corporate income taxes.  Information regarding these and additional taxes can be located at  There is no personal income tax in Florida.

Economic Gardening

Sarasota County’s Economic Gardening program, coordinated by the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, focuses on offering services to stimulate growth in “second-stage” companies.  To qualify as second stage, a company must have between 10 and 50 employees, generate annual sales of $1 million to $25 million, and have increased sales and employment during three of the last five years.

Studies show that second-stage CEOs face common business challenges regardless of industry, and that fewer resources are available to many established companies than when those businesses were in their start-up stage.  With that in mind, the EDC and its partners, including the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, are providing access to specific services: strategic analysis, peer-to-peer networking, network mapping, market research and mentoring by third-stage CEOs, to name a few.

Your EDC staff is more than happy to assist with any challenges you may be facing in your business. Please send us an email letting us know what the challenge is and we will contact you as quickly as possible to offer assistance.

Blue Sky Thinking