If you’ve lived in Lakeland for five minutes, you’ve likely noticed that Lakeland loves small businesses. For those of you who resolved to get your biz off the ground in 2022, we’re rounding up some helpful resources + information to get you started.
- New Business 101 — This free four-session class hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce introduces new entrepreneurs to bank officials, marketing professionals + local business mentors. Registration is now open for the February class.
- Central Florida SCORE — This non-profit serves Polk County entrepreneurs with mentorship, classes + workshops. Attend the next event, “Create Impactful Content,” on Wed., Feb. 9 at 7:45 a.m. at My Office and More (122 E. Main St.) for $10.
- Catapult Lakeland — This Lake Mirror-adjacent workspace offers coworking space, offices for rent, dedicated desk space, a maker space, and a commercial kitchen.
- The Well — This $1.3 million, 4,700 sqft workspace will work to support underrepresented business owners to launch, grow, and sustain their business. Stop by The Well’s grand opening on Jan. 21 from 5-8 p.m. at 114 E. Parker St.
Find information regarding funding + financial incentives at the following institutions:
- City of Lakeland — Lakeland offers economic development incentives for new businesses.
- Lakeland Community Redevelopment Agency — Check out incentives for businesses in the downtown, Dixieland, and Midtown areas.
- State of Florida — Statewide incentives include tax exemptions, tax credits, grants, and more.
Here’s advice from local business owners said about starting your business:
- “Tell someone your idea! Then believe in it every day...” — @crash_bookshop
- “Start with basics: legal creation online with the state. For FL, sunbiz.org. Always create an LLC and then acquire an FEIN from the IRS…” — @puravie
- “... Relationships and reputation are so important.” — @venuelakeland