Suzanne Specht is a small business consultant for the Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University. She has been with Florida Gulf Coast University since 1997. Suzanne has financial experience and expertise gained from her career as a loan officer with Barnett and SouthTrust Banks. Recently, Suzanne was awarded the Valor Award from the Florida Small Business Development Center Network for her assistance to small business owners from Hurricane Irma. She represented Florida as the Star Performer in 2004 at the Association of Small Business Development Centers.
At the SBDC, Suzanne has consulted over 2700 small business owners in the past 23 yrs. She has spent 20,200 + consulting hours with clients assisting them with business plans, financial statements, and loan applications resulting in 215 business start-ups and capital formation over $50.2 million dollars. Specifically, Suzanne facilitated the State of Florida Bridge Loan program for our SW Florida area during Hurricane Irma. She assisted 225+ small business owners with the application, processing and closing of these bridge loans totaling over $6 million dollars. Additionally, she assisted Red Tide/Blue Algae and COVID-related small business owners with bridge loans, SBA EIDL loans, PPP loans and grants which assisted hundreds of small businesses owners in SW Florida to stay in business totally $7million+. Her expertise includes SBA loan packages, disaster loans, and access to capital. Suzanne is a tireless networker and works diligently to provide sound and knowledgeable business information for our SBDC Clients. Additionally, she writes federal grants as well as foundation grants, specifically:
- Bank of America
- Bank United
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Fifth Third Bank
Suzanne has conducted over 1500 training seminars including webinars and in-person programs with 26,000 attendees. She facilitated a business planning and grant writing program for NGO’s in Haiti through FAVACA- Florida Association For Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas. Also, she conducted a FastTrac program for small and medium enterprises in Trinidad through the United Nations.
She’s involved in many community organizations as a board member including Junior Achievement of SW Florida, National Black Business Support Corporation, IDS Corp- 504 SBA Lender, Gulfshore Business Magazine and many chambers of commerce. She is the go-to person for anything small business in our community.
In 2012, She was named American Business Women’s Association- Naples Chapter, “Women Making History” honoree and was named Gulfshore Business Magazine’s Top 29 Most Powerful Women in SW Florida. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys international travel, missions work, and reading.