I attended the free business workshop as an independent business owner. Well, the vendor tables and sponsors were all very nice and donated wonderful prizes for the raffle. The Kingman Daily Miner was also there to give support and discuss how to receive our small business survey.
But unfortunately, the first three hours of topic speakers were less than helpful. We basically felt trapped into completing a multi-page survey as Bennett Bratley from Mohave County Economic Development read each question to us. And a sophisticated, slightly skewed gap analysis survey that is really great for huge corporations was discussed by Erik Glenn, University of Arizona project manager. Don't get me started about the grants and loans that Mr. Wetherbee, acting state director of USDA Development spoke of. They are only for public bodies (municipalities), Indian tribes, cooperatives, or nonprofits. He said that it was a long and expensive process for cities to get set up to do, and I got the feeling that he did not expect that Kingman city government would ever be involved.
Most of us were probably expecting to learn about strategies for business plans and marketing.
The last event was the part of the program that was suggested by Pam Wilkinson of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce. Kelly Marsh from the MCC Small Business Development Center Director had all that information for us and more. There are training sessions for a fee, but competitive scholarships are provided by Mohave County. There are free tools for business support on the MCC website, and you can sign up for free business counseling. That was a major bright spot in the day along with great food, excellent raffle prizes and networking opportunities. Maybe next time she can do the whole workshop or someone else like her. We have other business coaches in our tri-state area who would be willing to give us a one- or two-hour demo of what they do.
Thanks for trying, EDMC, and thank you to all the vendors, sponsors and fellow attendees. A special thank you to the chamber for Kelly Marsh, and personally, thank you Vic's Tease for the wonderful raffle prize I received.