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Small Business Week programs to benefit entrepreneurs

Lorrie Feldt, regional director of the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center, speaks during the Chancellor's Commission for Community Engagement at IU Northwest last year. The NW-ISBDC is offering programs for entrepreneurs during Small Business Week this week.

For more than a half century, the United States has celebrated Small Business Week, shining a light on the businesses that employ more than half of Americans and create an estimated two out of three new jobs in the United States every year.

This year, Small Business Week started Sunday and runs through Saturday.

"This week we join Hoosiers in recognizing the important role small businesses play in driving Indiana's economy forward,” Gov.  Eric Holcomb said, noting Indiana has more than 508,000 small businesses that employ more than 1.2 million people in Indiana. “With ingenuity, perseverance and a spirit of entrepreneurship, small business owners are championing 21st century developments, launching new ventures, and supporting good jobs and opportunities that are integral to every one of our communities."

Training opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs abound, both in the Region and online.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the SCORE Association will host a free two-day virtual conference from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Anyone can sign up for the public webinars to learn new business strategies, the general U.S. economic outlook, online marketing tips, how to master cash flow, and the secrets to effective online ads. There also will be free programs on how to line up SBA funding, how to procure business with the federal government, and how to recover after a disaster.

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Locally, the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center will host several free educational seminars, including a program on how to improve your restaurant or food truck operations from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Economic Development Corp. Michigan City office at Two Cadence Park Plaza in Michigan City.

A Business Start-up 101 class will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Purdue Technology Center at 9800 Connecticut Drive in Crown Point, and a course on funding options for new and small businesses will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday at the Purdue Technology Center in Crown Point.

All of the events are free but require online registration in advance.

The Northwest ISBDC also is encouraging the public to observe Small Business Week by shopping locally at small businesses in their community and spreading the word about them on social media or by posting reviews online.

For more information or to register for any of the programs, visit isbdc.org/locations/northwest-isbdc or www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.