BREWER – Resources are available to help people who are starting a small business or trying to keep one open, and Brewer city officials are gearing up to educate owners and potential entrepreneurs about what they are.
The city will hold the first of many planned Small Business Assistance Program forums on Oct. 24. The forums are designed to help owners of small and midsize businesses, D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewer economic development director, said recently.
“It will be a basic introduction to business resources that are free and available in the region that many of our small businesses might not be aware of,” she said.
The free forum will be held 6-8 p.m. in the Chamberlain Room at the Muddy Rudder restaurant and will feature a panel of six local experts.
“The really small businesses don’t really call us for much,” Main-Boyington said. “We wanted to find a way to reach all these businesses, so they can reach the clients they need.”
The panel will include Ann McAlhany, small-business development counselor; Jennifer Brooks, Penquis Community Action Program; Becky Robinson, the CareerCenter in Bangor; Jay Pearl, Dawson Bradford Insurance; and Marion Syverson, Norumbega Financial. The panel will be moderated by Deb Neuman from the Target Technology Incubator at the University of Maine and host of the “Back to Business” radio show on WVOM 103.9 FM.
The majority of the businesses in Brewer are small to midsize, so reaching owners to help them grow or maintain their companies is vital to the growth of the city, Main-Boyington said.
Questions raised at the forum will be used as a guide for future workshops but will be geared around business topics such as financing, insurance, employee relations and successful marketing.
Plans are to create a quarterly newsletter and to use the city’s Web site to stream information to the region’s business community.
“The focus is on Brewer business, but we’re not going to turn anybody away,” Main-Boyington said.
The city requests people sign up ahead to participate in the Small Business Assistance Program forum by calling the city at 989-7500 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.