O'Fallon Progress

Chamber to host workshop for small business owners, entrepreneur

On Friday, March 24, local business owners and entrepreneurs throughout the region are invited to attend a free workshop on business financing and participate in one-on-one counseling sessions at the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber meeting room at 200 S. Lincoln in O’Fallon.

Staff from the Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will be available to talk confidentially with business owners and entrepreneurs on a range of topics.

The SBDC Day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a one-hour “How to Hire and Keep Good Employees” workshop presented by Marc Voegele, owner of Express Employment Professionals, starting at noon.

Attendees wanting to meet privately with a SBDC counselor are encouraged to request a 30-minute appointment by calling 618-650-2929.

Metro East SBDC interim director JoAnn DiMaggio May said these open house events are an effective way to connect with local business community.

“We always enjoy SBDC Community Days and truly appreciate Debbie (Arell-Martinez) and the chamber serving as our host,” said Di Maggio May. “It truly takes a team effort to help small businesses to survive and thrive.”

DiMaggio May and her staff plan to hold at least 10 SBDC Days in 2017.

The Metro East SBDC assists entrepreneurs as well as existing business owners operating in the nine-county metro-east region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses.

SBDCs in Illinois are funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and SIUE as a service to the community.

To learn how these no-cost services may help your business venture, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or sbdcedw@gmail.com.

The March 24 event is being sponsored by O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber, in collaboration with the cities of O’Fallon, Shiloh and Fairview Heights.

Topics covered at the workshop

Staff from Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center at SIUE will be available to talk confidentially with business owners and entrepreneurs on a range of topics, including, but not limited to:

▪ Business financing

▪ Marketing assistance

▪ Social media strategy

▪ Business plans

▪ Expansion opportunities

▪ Buy and selling a business

▪ State/federal regulations

▪ Exporting and international trade