Published: Mar 14, 2011 3:26 AM EDT
Updated: Mar 14, 2011 12:26 AM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The City of Cape Coral held a business expo over the weekend to teach people how to run a successful business.

Recently, Donald and Karen Labonte opened up Evergreen Construction in Cape Coral.

"I've been laid off for about two years now," said Donald Labonte.

The sluggish economy pushed Labonte to become self-employed.

"Not knowing anything about the business end, I came here to look for ideas on where I can learn about the business end of it," Labonte told WINK News.

It was this same business expo last year that helped them get back on their feet. At the expo they learned about the Southwest Florida Micro Enterprise Project. It's a free 10-week course that teaches people how to run a business.

"How to watch your cash flow, where we can make deductions, how to do the business plan, said Labonte.

This year, Labonte came back to learn about more agencies and programs. Hundreds of other people found it beneficial too.

"You get to meet people, find different opportunities," said another small business owner.

The expo answered many questions business owners or potential business owners might have. They learned everything from how to start a business to how to get government contracts and where to hire the best employees. The city hopes the expo encourages more people to open up more businesses in the Cape.