MOBILE, Alabama – Mobile Area Small Business Week, a new initiative to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurship and small business, debuts May 12-15, courtesy of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
Scheduled activities include a resource fair and three workshops, each designed to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with valuable tools and strategies to help them take their businesses to the next level.
The week’s events conclude Thursday, May 15 with a luncheon at the Mobile Marriott, featuring Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, founders of Barefoot Cellars as keynote speakers. The chamber will also present its inaugural Outstanding Entrepreneur Award to Jim Busby, chairman and chief operating officer of CentraLite Systems Inc., during the luncheon.
Houlihan and Harvey are expected to discuss how they launched Barefoot Cellars in 1986, with very little money and zero wine industry experience, yet persevered to become the top-selling wine brand in the nation. Their story, “The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand,” also became a New York Times bestselling business paperback. The first 250 luncheon registrants will receive a copy of the book and have the opportunity to meet the authors and have their book autographed.
The week’s activities begin Monday, May 12 with “Mobile’s Best Resources for Small Business Assistance,” where more than one dozen organizations will be on hand to answer business questions and offer advice on how to manage and grow your business. On-site assistance in financial analysis, business planning, marketing and market research, branding your business, social media and more will also be available.
The free two-hour event begins at 1:30 p.m. at the chamber’s offices, located at 451 Government St. Registration is requested, however, and can be made by contacting Brenda Rembert at (251) 431-8607 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
Participating agencies include the Alabama Department of Commerce Office of Small Business Advocacy, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Alabama Small Business Development Center, City of Mobile – Community Planning and Development, Gulf Coast Angel Network, Mobile Works, South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, U.S. Small Business Administration, Women’s Business Center of Southern Alabama and others.
The festivities continue Tuesday, May 13 with two Small Business Day workshops.
The first, “Your Greatest Business Development Tool – Your Employees” will be presented by Dale Carnegie and will outline how “engaging employees in your company’s vision and strategy encourages greater commitment, motivation and dedication to making your company successful.
The two-hour session begins at 8:30 a.m. at the chamber’s Government Street offices, and the cost is $25 for chamber and MDBA Business Center members, and $30 for non-members. A $10 discount is being offered, however, to the first 20 registrants. Contact Brenda Rembert at (251) 431-8607 or via email@example.com to register.
“Where is the Money,” the day’s second session, will then address having and finding sufficient capital. Presented by the University of South Alabama Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and
Innovation, the workshop will feature breakout sessions focused on debt, equity and alternative funding sources as well as the hands-on expertise of more than 10 financing organizations equipped to provide between $500 to more than $2 million.
The workshop is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the 29th-floor conference room of the RSA Tower, located at 11 N. Water St. in downtown Mobile. The cost is $25, and registration is required. Contact Rachel Backlin at (251) 414-8091 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A third workshop, “Preparing Your Business to Reach the Next Level,” is slated for 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 14 at the American Red Cross, 35 N. Sage Ave.
This session will offer business owners and managers new and useful business practices to boost business growth. Learn to customize market research to identify market changes, trends, niches and how to make data-driven decisions to develop a plan that adds value to the procurement process for your clients and increases sales.
The cost is $25 for chamber and MDBA Business Center members, and $30 for non-members. A $10 discount is being offered, however, to the first 20 registrants. Contact Brenda Rembert at (251) 431-8607 or via email@example.com to register.
And as previously mentioned, the week’s events conclude Thursday, May 14, with the Small Business Week Luncheon at the Mobile Marriott, located at 3101 Airport Blvd. The cost is $35 for chamber and MDBA Business Center members, and $45 for non-members. Reservations are required by Friday, May 9, and payment is due at the time of registration. No refunds will be offered after that date. Contact Brenda Rembert at (251) 431-8607 or via firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
April 29, 2014