When Debbe Kinsey, the Chief Executive Officer at the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, met with Melissa Meschke, the Director of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Stevens Point, she knew the relationship could benefit Chamber members, as well as local business owners.
“It’s a goal for all Chambers to have offerings to assist our local business owners,” said Debbe, when talking about her Chamber of Commerce. She stressed the importance of the small, medium, and large sized businesses in her community and the need for educational opportunities for them.
Melissa Meschke, along with Mark Speirs, the SBDC Consultant at UWSP, came up with a series of programs that will serve the business owners in the community well. They both have a background running small businesses and used that experience, in addition to incorporating the feedback they have received from community leaders, to come up with the offerings.
The 2018 Business Education Series will involve the following programs:
•Feb. 8: Finding the Money – Know what financing and funding is available for your businesses. It takes money to make money, so where can your business find the capital to launch or grow? This program will provide an overview of the many capital sources for small business including traditional commercial loans, government loan programs and grants, as well as many lesser-known specialized sources of funding.
•April 26: Marketing for Talent – How to attract top talent to your organization. Many people think of marketing their products and services, but what does it mean to market yourself? Learn how with a solid brand, a mobile friendly website, and video, you can help yourself stand out in this tight labor market and attract the talent you need.
•July 26: Buying and Leasing Commercial Real Estate – How to know what is right for your small business. Due diligence is key when buying or leasing commercial real estate to house your business. This program will cover the analysis and investigation needed before signing a commercial lease or buying a piece of commercial property.
•Nov. 8: Grow your Customer Base – Increase sales through networking, sales techniques, and digital and traditional marketing. Learn tips on effective networking and sales techniques and how to pair with your marketing efforts.
All programs will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Merrill Area Chamber, 705 N. Center Ave., Merrill. Sign up by visiting www.merrillchamber.org/events.