Get your small business off the ground with free workshop

DANIEL CLIFTON • EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — When Lerin Lockwood was looking for a little help to take her Lion Latch, a jewelry protector, from idea to marketable product, she turned to a SCORE mentor.

“It was definitely a fast track for my business,” she said. “Probably the biggest thing Jim (Binneboesse) helped me with was he had this detailed list of what I needed to know and get to get a business loan.”

This came at the right time in 2015 as Lockwood knew she had to get the Lion Latch to market before Christmas to take advantage of the “stocking stuffer” sales.

Score one for SCORE, a nonprofit that offers mentoring for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business. It’s one of the many places small-business owners can turn for help.

If they know about them.

That’s where the Governor’s Small Business Workshop comes in. The free event is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Lakeside Pavilion, 305 Buena Vista Drive. People can come and go as they please.

“Basically, it’s an opportunity for anyone who is interested in starting a business, growing their own business, or just has questions about improving their business,” said Midge Dockery, Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. business development coordinator. “It’s to let people know about the various organizations and groups that are there to support business, particularly small businesses.”

The Marble Falls EDC partnered with the Governor’s Office of Small Business Assistance and the Texas Workforce Commission to host the workshop.

The event includes the Office of Small Business Assistance, the Office of Community Relations, and the Office of Strategic Business Development, all from Gov. Greg Abott’s office. Other organizations scheduled to attend are PeopleFund, the Small Business Development Center, SCORE, the Small Business Administration, the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Workforce Commission, and Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area.

Dockery said the organizations will have tables set up so people can go through and get information from each or just focus on a couple. Whatever the business owners’ goals, there’s likely going to be someone who can help.

“And if someone does have a question that they can’t find an answer to, these groups and the people there have such a wide network that they’ll be able to find someone who does (know the answer),” Dockery said.

One of the challenges small-business owners face is finding resources, especially if they don’t know those resources are even available.

And while the event is in Marble Falls, it’s not restricted to Marble Falls businesses or residents.

“It’s supports all local and regional businesses — Marble Falls, Burnet, Llano, Johnson City, Lago Vista — anywhere in the region,” Dockery said. “And it’s not just for people who already are in business; it’s for anyone who just has an idea for a business.”

For a few minutes or even an hour or more investment, the return could be incredible.

Lockwood, thanks to SCORE’s and Binneboesse’s assistance, hit the “stocking stuffer” season, which helped her pay off her business loan. Even now, Binneboesse keeps up with Lockwood through emails and visits.

“I’m thankful I had SCORE and Jim in my life,” Lockwood said. “I think I would have been able to do (start a business), but I don’t think I would have done it as quick, and it probably would have been tougher.

“I would definitely recommend anyone interested in starting a business or developing a product go to the workshop,” she added. “I’m going.”

Call (830) 798-7079 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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