Advocate editorial board opinion: Workshops promise to help small businesses

By the Advocate Editorial Board
July 18, 2011 at 2:18 a.m.

Small businesses should have all the means to succeed.

So we praise the Victoria Chamber of Commerce for starting a series of workshops, beginning July 26, that will help local entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of running a growing business.

"Small business is the backbone of the community," said Randy Vivian, president and chief operating officer of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

We agree, and because so much of our business is in the category of small business, it collectively accounts for job creation and employment rates.

Vivian estimated that large business accounts for about 20 percent of employment in Victoria.

"The goal of these workshops is to provide tools to help them be able to build their businesses into better businesses," Vivian said.

The first session asks businesses "do your employees need child care?" Subsequent sessions will deal with hiring and firing, developing a strategic plan and employee handbook issues.

Vivian said the sessions will be "user friendly, but also topic driven."

We suggest adding a session on customer service training for employees. We think this is super important because customers are the source of good business. If they are treated correctly, they will come back; Victoria benefits with this environment, as tourists will want to return to the city.

Vivian said he plans to expand these periodic sessions. He's conferred with Victoria College about continuing education courses and the University of Houston-Victoria's Small Business Development Center to develop more sessions.

"We started this with the Workforce Solutions of the Golden Crescent," he said. "And we want our Chamber members to take advantage of these workshops. This gives them some return on their membership with the Chamber."

We agree that these workshops are needed, and we understand that the Chamber membership has asked for these sessions during the past year. We urge all members to attend these beneficial sessions, as well as other area businesses.

"Nationwide, the majority of business is small business. It's a real driver," Vivian said.

Yes, small business drives the economy. If we have a great small business community, we will have prosperous times ahead.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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