Accessibility Information

Economic Development

Research & Planning

Research and Plan Your New Business Venture

Starting a business is one of the most exciting journeys an individual can take. More than 10 million Americans consider starting a business each year. As a result, more than three million new small businesses are started annually in the U.S.

article financial planningBusiness Research and Planning
Writing an Effective Business Plan

A well-written strategic business plan is essential to starting and running a business. Not only will this be required when you apply for business loans or seek investors, but it’s also smart to develop a strategic business plan so you  to lay a clear-cut foundation for what your business stands for. A good small business plan describes in detail a business' mission and goals, and how these goals will be achieved. The plan should provide a detailed description of the business, its product or service, competitive environment, marketing plan, financial statements, projections and management principles.

Even when a formal strategic business plan is not required by others, it is a valuable tool for making quality business decisions. It helps business owners define and focus on their strategic objectives and it is an important tool when managing and communicating with managers and staff.

Several free counseling and training programs are available from EDO partners to help you get started on your business plan outline. These services extend to all aspects of starting and running a business, from developing a small business plans to marketing strategies and small business loan information.

Get started and develop a business plan today!

Business Assistance & Training

City of Cape Coral Economic Development Office

The mission of the City of Cape Coral Economic Development Office (EDO) is to achieve a balanced economy for our community by encouraging the creation of new businesses, helping with the expansion of existing businesses, and attracting new firms from outside the area. The EDO creates and governs financial incentives, promotes Cape Coral through advertising and public relations programs and serves as business ombudsman to assist with permitting, licensing, zoning and other government-related questions. Please use our office as a resource and ally. We welcome your call or email

City of Cape Coral
Economic Development Office

City Manager’s Office
1015 Cultural Park Blvd.                   
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 574-0444
Fax: (239) 574-0452

EDO Staff:
Sharon Woodberry, Economic & Business Development Officer

Karen Ramos, Business Development Specialist

Florida Small Business Development Center

The EDO funds the Cape Coral satellite of the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which is staffed by Florida Gulf Coast University. Free counseling services at the Small Business Development Center Office are available to individuals who have questions or need assistance in starting or growing their business. These sessions are conducted by state-certified business analysts.

The SBDC is a nonprofit organization affiliated with FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBDC sponsors free and low-cost seminars on significant business development issues, from acquiring capital to marketing.

SBDC also provides free on-site counseling plus training and technical assistance in all aspects of small business management. Its trained staff can help you with developing a small business outline or plan, marketing or production issues, engineering and technical problems, and with feasibility studies. The SBDC also provides assistance in obtaining contracts with government agencies.

Please contact the SBDC for an individual appointment or register for one of its valuable seminars.

SCORE - Service Corps of Retired Executives Association

SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offering free, confidential, business plan development and one-on-one consulting. The local SCORE chapter has more than 30 counselors who are retired business owners and managers who volunteer their expertise in specific fields. You can take advantage of their years of experience in everything from accounting, management and marketing, to manufacturing, insurance and the hospitality industry. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) serves both new and existing businesses with free mentoring, business counseling, and low-cost workshops.

SCORE SW Florida Chapter 219
Social Security Building
Suite 231
3650 Colonial Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33966
(239) 489-2935
Fax: (239) 489-1170

Online Tools & Resources 

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers numerous online tools and resources on its website to help new and aspiring business owners succeed.
The Small Business Administration's training network provides guides and resources on developing strategic business plans and commonsense advice on starting a new business. Several free tools help prospective and existing entrepreneurs understand the basics of business plans. Tools range from online video courses to business plan templates.
SBDC Cape Coral

Russ Winstead, Business Analyst

Small Business Development Center
1020 Cultural Park Blvd. S., #3
Cape Coral, FL 33990 
(239) 573-2737
Fax: (239) 573-2797