A seminar on obtaining designations for small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans is the second in a series of four workshops focused on the challenges and opportunities facing independently owned and operated enterprises. The Conway Small Business Institute is a collaborative effort between the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Central Arkansas’ Division of Outreach and Community Engagement. The organizations formed the Institute to accomplish goals outlined in Conway2025, the city’s long-range strategic plan.

Veteran-, Minority- and Women-owned Business Certification

The upcoming session – Veteran-, Minority- and Women-owned Business Certification – is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29, at UCA’s Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center. The three-hour workshop will last from 9 a.m. until noon, covering each of the three categories. The cost to attend is $50. Pat Brown, director of small and minority business for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will begin the session with information about the process for obtaining a minority-owned designation and an explanation of why businesses should pursue it. Following her talk, Edward Haddock, deputy district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration – Arkansas District Office, will provide an overview of SBA services for small businesses as well as veteran certification programs. During the second hour, Ray Blevins, program director for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service’s Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC), will discuss ways business owners can prepare their businesses for government contracts. A panel featuring local business owners who have obtained business certification will be the final part of the session. Panelists include Linda Linn, owner of Linn’s Auto & Equipment Sales, JSI Metal and Electronic Recycling and U-Pull-It of Conway; Greg Hunt, principal broker and co-founder of Sandstone Real Estate Group; and Anthony Brooks, owner of a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE).

How to Register

The Conway Small Business Institute will offer two more workshops in the spring of 2016 as part of the four-part 2015-2016 series. The remaining sessions are as follows:

Thursday, Feb. 25: Human Resources

Thursday, March 31: Small Business Finance

The registration fee is $50 per workshop. Visit uca.edu/outreach/csbi to register or for more information.