Extension offers webinar on self-care and online town hall for small businesses

Discussions aim to help small businesses connect, pivot and adapt amid COVID-19

Businesswoman presenting at an Extension business development event

In lieu of in-person events for small businesses, such as this, Extension is now offering virtual town halls and webinars for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Donna Morell.

Extension offers webinar on self-care and online town hall for small businesses

Discussions aim to help small businesses connect, pivot and adapt amid COVID-19

In lieu of in-person events for small businesses, such as this, Extension is now offering virtual town halls and webinars for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Donna Morell.

Businesswoman presenting at an Extension business development event

In lieu of in-person events for small businesses, such as this, Extension is now offering virtual town halls and webinars for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Photo by Donna Morell.

Besides needing funds available for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, small-business owners need additional support and guidance, as well as opportunities to talk with other small-business owners. Extension is offering virtual question-and-answer “Coping With COVID-19 Town Halls” for small businesses every Wednesday, and webinars on specific topics for small businesses every Friday. The town halls and the webinars are offered in Spanish and English and are aimed at helping small businesses “pivot and adapt” during this challenging time.

This is the fourth week of sessions, which includes:

  • This week’s town hall, Wednesday, May 6, 9 a.m. for English speakers and at 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers. Panelists include:
    • Reyna Mendez, Extension business development instructor
    • Juan Salas, Extension business development instructor
    • Mike Bindrup, Extension research associate
    • Saul Ramos, Small Business Administration deputy district director
  • This week’s webinar, “Self-Care for Small-Business Owners,” Friday, May 8, 9 a.m. for English speakers and at 11:30 a.m. for Spanish speakers. Mendez, Salas and Bindrup will focus on tips for managing the personal side during a crisis, discussing:
    • Daily techniques to focus and reduce stress
      • Adjusting to stay-at-home orders
      • Methods of balancing time
    • How to manage projects at home
      • Working on “what-if” scenarios
      • Staying in touch online and in your community
    • Easing the transfer from work to home
      • Cleaning the business, cleaning the home
      • Identifying strengths for a return

During the town halls, there is a short presentation on a given topic or a preview of the Friday webinar during the first 10 minutes. Then, the participants network with one another and drive the discussion, with a panel of professionals and educators helping them troubleshoot challenges they are encountering. The Friday webinars provide information on specific topics to help businesses plan strategically, adapt and succeed.

Organizers say that while many of our state’s businesses are focused on the funding aspects of their businesses, which is natural, they may be overlooking other opportunities to improve their overall business, during and after COVID-19.

“Our goal is to provide resources and educational platforms to help our small businesses, statewide, cope and retool during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business Development Program. “Ultimately, our goal is that when things begin to return to normal, our state’s small businesses will be even stronger.”

Borden said that the they hope to reach businesses across the state, in the north and the south, and in both urban and rural areas.

“While we were really happy to connect with so many businesses in our urban areas, we really want to let our small businesses in the rural areas know that we are here to assist them as well,” Borden said.

Both the town halls and the webinars are free, and usually run about an hour. To register or for more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website. There are also other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden.

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