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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Small Business Conference March 26
Get Directions to Moses Center
March 14, 2008 - The City of Knoxville will partner with several other organizations to offer a free Small Business Conference on Wednesday, March 26, at the Moses Center at 220 Carrick Street.

This conference – is part of an ongoing series of events offered by the city’s Community Relations Department.

The sessions will specifically focus on the needs of all small business owners and budding entrepreneurs:

  • "So you are thinking about starting your own business"- come and get answers to your questions and learn of potential resources
  • "The importance of a business plan- Why do I need one?" – you will be able to view examples of existing business plans from a variety of businesses and learn how having a business plan opened doors for many
  • Every business owner can take advantage of the marketing workshops that will be facilitated by a very prominent advertising agency. Regardless of the age of your business all want to learn where to find funding when needed. The Financing options and Small Business Initiatives workshops will guide you in the right direction
  • The conference will conclude with a plenary lunch/learn session on "Doing Business with the City of Knoxville" particularly on upcoming projects/RFPS like the South Knoxville Waterfront Development and the Energy Services Performance Contract. Immediately following the lunch/learn, a brand new state funded program- SMOB program (Tennessee Small Minority Owned Business) will be introduced to the community. SMOB provides loans and technical assistance to small minority owned businesses.

    This is a hands on organized event in a business casual relaxed atmosphere.

    Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the program – at 9:00.

    Lunch is provided to the participants and the afternoon session will run from noon until 2 p.m.

    The conference is designed for both start-up ventures and existing small businesses.

    "We’ve had a lot of success with our small business conferences in the past and I think this one will continue that trend," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "What the City and the other sponsors want to do is give entrepreneurs and others involved in small businesses the tools they need to be more successful."

    "We hope everyone enjoys the conference and takes something away from it that will enhance their business," he added.

    In addition to the city’s Community Relations Department, other sponsors of the event include SunTrust Bank, The Tennessee Small Business Development Centers and the city’s Community Development and Purchasing Departments.

    Chris Hornsby, president of Hornsby Brand Design and his wife, Bridget Hornsby, the principal owner of the company, attended one of the City’s previous Small Business Conferences because they were interested in competing for a particular upcoming city project.

    "We wanted to do everything we could to get the contract," Hornsby said adding that the company was a new design firm, "and we followed the process every step of the way."

    He said the conference presenters didn’t make any promises that the firm would win the contract but did provide a lot of helpful information that helped it better compete.

    "It was very informative," said Hornsby. "There were a lot of speakers who talked about the different projects going on in the city and what was going to be happening. They really bent over backwards to help you learn about the process."

    The city’s Small Business Conference is part of Knoxville’s Equal Opportunity Business Program, or EBOP, and the city is striving to increase its contracts with minority and women-owned businesses.

    For more information about the conference or to register please call 865-215-3867 or 865-215-3966 or email jhundley@cityofknoxville.org
  • For Immediate Release
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