UNR Extension hosts town hall to help small businesses connect, adapt amid COVID-19

Local News

UNR Cooperative Extension. Photo by Donna Morell.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Besides needing funds available for small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, small-business owners need additional support and guidance, as well as opportunities to talk with other small-business owners.

University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering virtual question-and-answer “Coping With COVID-19 Town Halls” for small businesses every Wednesday in Spanish and English, aimed at helping small businesses “pivot and adapt” during this challenging time.

This week’s town hall is Wednesday, May 20, at 9 a.m. for English speakers and at 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers.

Panelists include:

  • Saul Ramos, Small Business Administration deputy director
  • Marcel F. Schaerer, Nevada Department of Business & Industry deputy director
  • Pilar Lyons, Nevada Safety Consultation and Training Section safety trainer

During the town halls, there is a short presentation on a given topic during the first 10 minutes. Then, the participants network with one another and drive the discussion, with a panel of professionals and educators helping them troubleshoot challenges they are encountering.

Organizers say that while many of our state’s businesses are focused on the funding aspects of their businesses, which is natural, they may be overlooking other opportunities to improve their overall business, during and after COVID-19.

“Our goal is to provide resources and educational platforms to help our small businesses, statewide, cope and retool during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business Development Program.

“Ultimately, our goal is that when things begin to return to normal, our state’s small businesses will be even stronger,” added Borden.

Borden said that they hope to reach businesses across the state, in the north and the south, and in both urban and rural areas.

“While we were really happy to connect with so many businesses in our urban areas, we really want to let our small businesses in the rural areas know that we are here to assist them as well,” Borden said.

The town halls are free and usually run for about an hour.

To register or for more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website. There are also other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, email Borden at bordenb@unr.edu.

In lieu of in-person events for small businesses, such as this, Extension is now offering virtual town halls and webinars for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

The extension is a unit of the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources engaged in Nevada communities, presenting research-based knowledge to address critical community needs. It is a county-state-federal partnership providing practical education to people, businesses, and communities. For more information on its programs, visit extension.unr.edu.

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