Free workshops link businesses to expertise

COVINGTON, Ky. - Homeowners who need to do anything from fixing a faucet to canning green beans turn to YouTube videos for help. But finding accurate and helpful instruction can be a little more daunting if you’re a business that wants to, say, learn to export.
That’s where the City of Covington’s Economic Development Department comes in.
The Department’s Retention & Expansion Office is holding a free Lunch & Learn Workshop Series this fall to connect businesses to resources that can help them not only survive but thrive in an increasingly challenging business environment.
The series consists of three workshops - on Sept. 25, Oct. 10 and Nov. 8 - that will focus on three different topics, namely, helping businesses: 
  • Identify their customers.
  • Learn to export goods and services out of the country.
  • And increase business during the holiday season by gathering and using data. 
“There are a lot of resources out there that many businesses simply are unaware of,” said Suzann Gettys, the City’s Business Retention & Expansion Specialist. “And these are real resources, not something that sends you off to do things on your own. These people will walk you through processes and hold your hand every step of the way.”
The workshops are free, include lunch and take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Warehouse, 1 Innovation Alley in Covington.
Register at least two days before each event in one of three ways: Call (859) 292-2133, email or click HERE, where you can also see a brochure with event details. Space is limited, so don’t dawdle.
The sessions: 
  • Sept. 25 - “So You Think You Know Who Your Customer Is?” (Understanding existing supply-and-demand chains can help companies tap into new customers and markets to efficiently increase sales.) 
  • Oct. 10 - “Exporting to Increase Your Busine$$” (95 percent of all customers live outside the United States. Do you have a service or a product that can be exported? Looking to increase your global sales?) 
  • Nov. 8 - “Increase Your Holiday Sales: Data-focused Strategies” (Gear up for Small-Business Saturday with beneficial tools.) 
The sessions will be led by experts from four organizations that are helping the City coordinate and fund the workshops:
The Small Business Development Center at Northern Kentucky University, which gives free counsel to start-ups and potential entrepreneurs and offers a variety of low-cost training programs.
  • The Center for Economic Analysis & Development, which engages in economic and business research throughout Kentucky.
  • The Cincinnati office of the U.S. Commercial Service, which is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
  • Renaissance Covington, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing vitality to downtown. (Renaissance Covington recently partnered with Cincinnati Bell to create a unique public Wi-Fi network downtown that collects data on visitors and their habits to share with businesses.) 
“These people really know what they’re talking about, because on a daily basis they’re in the trenches with businesses helping them navigate and access things like supply chains, export rules, data collection and marketing,” Gettys said.
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