Sponsored content: Clearwater Business SPARK: Where success begins

Published Aug. 24, 2018

America is an entrepreneurial nation. It's built into our very fabric. Aha moments become "overnight" sensations all the time. But when it comes to actually starting a business, the effort required and the details to consider are mind boggling: Is your idea even feasible? How do you set up a budget? What about things like taxes, legal issues, insurance, trademarks, copyrights?

As overwhelming as all these questions can be, there is a network of business resources right here in our area that is on tap to answer those questions: Clearwater Business SPARK. An essential resource for entrepreneurs as they're starting out, Clearwater Business SPARK is also there for you when your business is humming along. Because questions keep coming up, no matter how well you're doing. And sometimes you need the kind of sage advice you can only get from someone who's been there.

The goal of Clearwater Business SPARK is to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in every stage of development. It wants to be on your speed dial when you need advice, mentorship, solutions, bilingual resources, support … whatever it is you require to get started, to grow your business or to take it to the next level.

Clearwater Business SPARK's eight partners are:

• City of Clearwater Economic Development & Housing Department

• Clearwater Public Library System

• Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce

• Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development

• Pinellas County SCORE

• Prospera

• St. Petersburg College

• Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation

This network of local experts is ready to provide entrepreneurs in our community with comprehensive support. That could mean access to costly equipment you might not be able to afford yet, such as a 3-D printer. Or design and production services. Or classes and networking events. Makerspaces. Workshops. Seminars. Mentorships. Information on licensing and permitting. Guidance on incentives, grants and financing options.

If you've got a great idea brewing and need a nudge (or two) to move forward, or if you're already in business and considering next steps, contact Audra Aja, Clearwater Business SPARK program coordinator, at 727-443-0217 or Get the big picture at