January 06, 2011

Variety of seminars on tap to assist businesses

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A series of special workshops at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in upcoming weeks offers information about social networking, finding business financing, contracting with the government and international trade.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center/International Trade Center at SIUC is sponsoring five sets of workshops full of valuable information to small businesses and people from throughout the region during early 2011.

“Social Networking” is a hands-on workshop featuring the tools for developing the various social networking platforms as a way to grow your business or organization. The workshop will cover Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn platforms. The event is Jan. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the computer lab at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale. The registration fee is $25. Seating is limited to 12 participants.

Experts say that access to business capital is the No. 1 barrier for small business owners. The “Finding Financing” seminar offers participants the tools and techniques for approaching both bankers and investors for capital. Those attending will get information about the various loan programs and financing options available in Southern Illinois. The details for the two free seminar sessions are as follows:

• Jan. 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Room 150, Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Carbondale.

• May 11, 2-4 p.m., Room 150, Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

“Intro to Government Contracting” is a brief workshop giving participants a look at the basic requirements for obtaining state and federal contracts, local requirements and more. It will highlight certifications business owners can seek based on their location, ethnicity and gender too. The two seminar sessions are:

• Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 1 Taylor St., Randolph County Courthouse, Chester.

• May 11, 4-6 p.m., Room 150, Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

There will also be two different free workshops pertaining to exporting and international trade. For companies new to international business, “Are You Ready to Export?” will help business owners assess their companies to determine if they are ready to expand into the global marketplace. The focus is on companies that want to begin exporting and the workshop is March 30 from 11 a.m. to noon at Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center.

Companies that are already exporting are the focal point for “International Trade: Current Trends in Exporting” set for 1-2 p.m. Feb. 24 at a site to be announced in Red Bud. It’s a chance to learn about current trends, regulations and issues companies involved in international trade face today.

Those planning to participate in any of the workshops and seminars must pre-register. For more information or to sign up, call 618/536-2424, email sbdc@siu.edu, or visit the website at www.siusbdc.com.