Women-owned businesses have been especially hard hit by the pandemic crisis. While many are opening back up now, some are wondering what they can do to build back a strong business in today’s environment. A seminar hosted by the Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Canisius College through the “ReConnect. ReStart. ReGrow.” COVID-19 recovery program is bringing together a COVID-19 recovery task force (a panel of industry experts), women business owners and entrepreneurs for a morning of networking and business advice. The content will be geared toward those who are trying to figure out what should be done differently postpandemic to sustain and build a strong, growing business.
An hourlong presentation by members of the WBC COVID recovery task force will introduce “24 Actionable Insights to Strengthen Your Business in a Post-COVID Environment” as a means of starting a conversation and sharing experiences between panelists and attendees. The presentation will be preceded by a half-hour networking and refreshments opportunity for those choosing to attend in person. A remote link to the presentation will also be available online.
The event takes place from 8:30-10 a.m. Tuesday, June 29, at the HANSA workspace, 505 Ellicott St., Buffalo. Attendees are encouraged to register online. There is no charge.
“We’re presenting a holistic approach to help businesses get back on track and grow in the post-COVID era,” WBC Executive Director Sara Vescio said. “That involves managing access to capital, growing sales, marketing, finance, law and technology. Experts from each of these areas are represented on the WBC COVID recovery task force and they will be on hand to meet with local business owners during the ‘Actionable Insights’ event.”
The presentation is one element of the “ReConnect. ReStart. ReGrow.” COVID-19 recovery program to help women-owned businesses get back on their feet in a challenging marketplace. The initiative was launched by the WBC in March, with funding from the CARES Act provided through the Small Business Administration.
The task force of support offers free classes and “office hour” appointments for up to 12 months to help women business owners and entrepreneurs restart a business plan that has been interrupted by the pandemic, reconnect to customers who are reentering the marketplace, or capitalize on new opportunities that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic. To date, more than 170 one-on-one appointments have taken place through the program’s task force.
“These unique programs are available to all women-owned businesses throughout Western New York,” Vescio said. “Businesses can join just one or as many programs as they like throughout the year. So far, we have seen the greatest demand for our one-on-one counseling sessions, which really speaks to the need for personal contact that people are feeling after being isolated for so long.”
Interested participants can learn more about the programs offered and register for classes or office hours online at thewomensbusinesscenter.com/covid-recovery-programs.
The WBC COVID-19 recovery task force consists of experienced facilitators and mentors who provide education and guidance in business development, finance, marketing, sales, technology, law and access to capital.
The CARES Act funding came in the form of a $420,000 grant, the largest in the history of the WBC at Canisius College, allowing recovery programs to run through February 2022 at no cost to women-owned businesses throughout the Western New York region. The community-inclusive programs support women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds with businesses of all sizes and in all industries.