November 2, 2017

City Small Business Center Is ”ON THE ROAD” To Malcolm X College Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017

Keynote speaker Stephanie Hart, owner Brown Sugar Bakery, shares secrets to sweet success.

Lilia Chacon Director of Public Information Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection     office 312.744.5365, cell 312.805.9385 lilia.chacon@cityofchicago.org

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) today announced that its final Small Business Center “On the Road” Expo of 2017 will take place Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago and will feature key note Stephanie Hart, entrepreneur and owner of Brown Sugar Bakery.  The event, part of the City’s effort to support neighborhood businesses and economic development, is the last in a successful series of five expos.

“The ‘On the Road’ series is part of Mayor Emanuel’s commitment to supporting Chicago’s neighborhood businesses by making helpful small business resources easily accessible to entrepreneurs,” BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareño said. “This expo will have something for all kinds of businesses. We encourage anyone who wants to launch or grow a small to swing by and see all that we have to offer.”

Stephanie Hart, entrepreneur and owner of Brown Sugar Bakery, will be the keynote speaker. She launched her business in 2004 with a bakery on 75th Street in the Grand Crossing community. She has since expanded to Navy Pier with plans for another store in the Austin community and a kiosk at O’Hare Airport.  Ms. Hart will share some of her personal strategies for small business success, including marketing and social media use, financing and long term planning. Like entrepreneurs visiting the Expo, Hart has received the support of the city to help her business grow and is the recipient of small business grants from the City’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and Retail Thrive Zones initiatives.

“I wish I knew then what I know now,” says Stephanie Hart of her bumpy road to success. “Like a lot of people starting out I underestimated the time and effort required. I want to share the hard lessons I learned on the road to success.”       

The goal of the Small Business Center ”On the Road” Expo series is to provide free, expert advice to all entrepreneurs on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning. During the event, business owners and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from more than 40 government and non-profit agencies including the Chicago Department of Procurement Services, the Illinois Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, business consultants from the Small Business Center will help attendees apply for, or renew, a business license, the Center for Economic Progress will provide a free tax clinic and The Law Project will provide a free legal clinic with representatives offering 20-minute consultations.

The Expo also offers free mini-makeovers, professional head shots, a tax and legal clinic, and consumer and financial help. There will be three free workshops following the keynote speech to help entrepreneurs learn new business skills. The complete schedule is below.

Vendor Fair: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Participants can visit with vendors, get expert advice, and receive a mini-makeover and free headshots.

Keynote Speaker: 11:00 AM – 12:00PM

Stephanie Hart, Owner Brown Sugar Bakery

Workshops: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Workshop 1:  Access to Capital: Helping Your Business Grow

Presented by Fifth Third Bank and ACCION

In order for businesses to grow they need capital, but it’s not always easy to obtain.  In this workshop attendees will learn about traditional and non-traditional credit sources as well as how to best prepare for when their company needs it most.

Workshop 2:  10 Steps for a Successful Webcast on a Lean Budget

Presented by Forward Progress

Marketing and producing a successful webcast is more than buying some software and flipping the switch. Workshop attendees will learn how to jump in and have fun with their own webcast, along with important steps, popular affordable tools, and marketing and production tips.

Workshop 3:  How to Write a Business Plan – What You Need to Know!
Presented by Donna R. Rockin, Executive Director, Jules F. Knapp Entrepreneurship Center at IIT

Attendees will learn how to create a successful business plan with a comprehensive overview of the key components needed to develop the foundation for a thriving business.

Networking: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Attendees can participate in a one-hour networking session on building and growing a business, hosted by City Treasurer Kurt Summers.

The Small Business Center “On the Road” Expo is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), Fifth Third Bank, Western Union, and COUNTRY Financial®.

To register for an expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center visit: www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.

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