Nearly 250 small business owners gathered for the Office of Business Opportunities’ 7th Annual Small Business Week Conference today (May 10, 2019) at the Columbia Metropolitan Center. Through workshops, guest speakers and networking, entrepreneurs got a chance to connect with innovative business leaders, who shared their insights, best practices, and tricks of the trade.

“This Small Business Week Conference allows small businesses to network amongst each other and to learn valuable information to help business owners grow their businesses. As a small business owner myself, we have to understand the ins and outs of running a business such as finances, growth, scaling your business and many other things. This conference gives you an opportunity to learn everything you need to know as a business owner,” said Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine.

“Today's conference was a shining example of Envision Columbia focus area number five: Economic Prosperity Endless Possibilities,” said City Manager Teresa Wilson. “I’m very proud of our staff and the impact of this annual conference.”

The City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities celebrate our small business year round, said Melissa Lindler, Office of Business Opportunities director. We are always trying to lift up and support our small businesses. There are a great number of different resources here at the City of Columbia that directly focuses on small businesses.”

The Small Business Week Conference helped small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs alike take their business to the next level. This annual conference covered the minor details that help small businesses grow.

Through the City of Columbia’s Small Business Week Conference, the Office of Business Opportunities highlighted the impact of the City’s outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This year’s workshops included:

· Digital Reputation: Making Social Media Work for You

· Maximizing Growth Opportunities with Advocacy Groups: Why Get Certified

· The Importance of Connecting with the Latino Market

· Grow Your Business While Minimizing Employment Risks

· Taking Your Business to a New Level: The Benefits of Going Green

· BOOM! Proven Strategies to be a Successful Business of the Future

· Understanding The Principles of Business Expansion

· Ink That Deal! The Small Business CEO’s Role as Chief Negotiator

To learn more about the Office of Business Opportunities and upcoming events, please visit www.columbiasc.gov/obo or call (803) 545-3950.

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