POINCIANA – They live in Poinciana, and they all have something in common: they’ve started their own business and dearly hope to succeed in a rocky economic climate.
It’s not easy doing it alone, says Melody Nadal. She knows that any small business entrepreneur could use advice and guidance from people who have been in the business world longer, who know what mistakes to avoid, and who can advise good leads to follow up on. Networking can be crucial – and so can reaching out to friends for assistance.
That’s why she’s inviting everyone in this growing community who operates a business, large or small, to consider spending some time with Poinciana Pros.
“Poinciana Professionals – Building a Community one business at a time,” is the motto of the web site, which can be reached by logging on to http://www.poincianapros.com/. It was founded by Nadal as a way to give business owners in Poinciana a way to reach a wider audience across Central Florida – and to bring them together under one roof once a month.
“I started Poinciana Pros two years ago,” Nadal said. An illness in her family made it difficult to keep up with the site or the regular networking sessions, but Nadal said that recently changed, the the site and the networking opportunities are back on track.
“We’re going to start Poinciana Pro’s up again, and meet again,” she said.
Nadal and her daughter Dominique run Nadal Enterprises, which provides business consultations. Poinciana Pros sprang from that business, and the group will start meeting on the third Monday of every month.
The web site also has members who have signed up for regular updates and notices, and it features a weekly business spotlight page.
“You can get your own page” on the web site, Nadal said. “You can write about your stuff.”
Most of all, she said, it’s a way for businesses to reach out to one another in tough economic times.
“It’s about coming together here at Poinciana Pros,” she said.
Poinciana was one of the fastest growing communities in the past decade, as the 10 villages that cut across Osceola and Polk counties experienced a building boom that sent the population soaring past 84,000 residents.
But just as Poinciana rode a strong residential and then commercial construction boom in the years between 2000 and 2007, so the community has also struggled to recover from the collapse of the housing market and the national recession since 2008.
Osceola County’s unemployment rate in August was 11 percent, and in Polk County, it was even higher, at 12 percent.
More than a few local businesses have failed or closed in the past three years, including the large Winn Dixie supermarket that was the anchor for one of the community’s main shopping malls off Cypress Parkway. That store closed in September 2010.
Some of the people downsized by these closings have opted to start their own business, and as Nadal noted, if they want to succeeed, it truly helps to reach out to one another and work together in a challenging economic environment.
One thing they all share, she said, is a love for Poinciana, and a desire to see the community grow and prosper. As the web site notes, “If you live in Poinciana, Florida, and want to help our community preserve and grow, this is the social network for you.”
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