Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & San Marcos Hispanic Chamber of Commerce partnered on the Tri-County Small business Summit at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel & Conference Center with participation of San Marcos Area, Kyle, Dripping Springs, Bastrop, Caldwell County Hispanic, Lockhart, Austin Asian American, Capital City African American, and Austin Chambers of Commerce to provide small business training that offered attendees tools to make their business grow and prosper. Their efforts were made possible with support of Governor’s Office & Texas Workforce Commission. Supporting Organizations of the event were BiGAustin, Austin Community College & the City of Austin and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority with the focus on the 2011 business outlook, Small Business opportunities and how business can positively affect opportunities for the area’s future workforce.
Texas State Representative Patrick Rose from District 45, Central Texas counties of Blanco, Caldwell, and Hays, who has passed 20 bills including legislation to promote small business, was the morning’s keynote speaker. Attendees present for the luncheon program heard stats on education and that impact on the workforce from the keynote address by Dr. Denise M. Trauth, President of Texas State University began since August 2002.
Participants got to hear about alternative financing options and how to prepare when looking for capital at the Access to Capital for Small Business session. Vicky Valdez from the City of Austin Small Business Development Program was present to clarify how small businesses have benefited from their workshops and other various resources. “We offer one on one coaching to help guide business owners through creating a business plan,” explains Valdez. Nathan Green with Campus2careers, the first job board in the world designed exclusively to connect small to mid-sized organizations with college students and recent grads, “90% of businesses can benefit from interns,” he further reminds that employers keep in mind and emphasize what the intern can gain from the internship to further the program’s success.
Beginners and advance Social Media sessions were also available to the Tri-County Summit audience. Social Media Chair of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Elizabeth Quintanilla of EQ Consultant Group, LLC and Ricardo Guerrero of Social Media Dynamo hosted the beginner’s Social Media session with tips on leveraging and integrating LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for businesses. More experienced users attended “Social Media Live” with panelists Elijah May with Zuphix, Inc., Cindy Royal with Texas State University, Monica Williams with Austin Community Foundation, and Josh Butler with Apogee Results along with moderator/organizer Elizabeth Quintanilla. Topics ranged from engaging with audience to identifying success. “Social Media will feed back to your web site and convert to business,” reasoned Josh Butler. Cindy Royal spoke on staying in touch with the consumer, “Social media is an opportunity to engage your customers.” Monica Williams continued on the topic, “Allow people to be an advocate for you.” On the question on dealing with situations that may not be as positive Elijah May stepped in, “people are going to talk. You choose whether or not to participate in the conversation.” “Be awesome and let your customers spread the word,” Royal.
By Monica Pena
Austin Times Staff