Q: What has the UHV Small Business Development Center been up to, and is the center offering any trainings or workshops?
A: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in the spring, no one knew what to expect. After spring break, the staff at the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center knew that local businesses from the 11-county region it serves would need a resource to lean on as we all crossed into unknown territory together.
Since the spring, the center has been in constant disaster response mode for small, local businesses in the Crossroads. Although the business advisers with the center have been unable to travel to regional businesses and offer workshops and consulting, virtual options such as Zoom and Teams have given the center’s staff a platform to safely speak to entrepreneurs about their businesses.
The SBDC staff members have helped small business owners by hosting virtual workshops about topics such as how to apply to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and the Paycheck Protection Program. Through these workshops, entrepreneurs were able to ask questions about the application process and gain a better understanding of the loans.
The center partnered with stakeholders in our region and hosted virtual discussions focused on the current state of local businesses in the country, experiences, loans and what the future might hold for small business owners. The center’s staff members have remained in contact with local economic development groups to keep up to date with how businesses are doing during the pandemic. Business advisers also served as business counselors and listened and offered advice to local entrepreneurs as we entered a multiweek business shutdown.
As we adjust to the “new normal” and prepare for life after the pandemic, the center is getting ready to offer a new virtual master class series for small businesses and start-up businesses. This new series will begin in November and continue through 2021 and will feature business professionals in different industries who will offer training and advice about sales, employee retention strategies, marketing and digital marketing, and how to use QuickBooks.
The UHV Small Business Development Center offers free counseling and training services to existing and start-up businesses in 11 counties. For more information, go to www.uhv.edu/small-business or contact the center at 361-485-4485 or at email@example.com.
Do you have a question about the University of Houston-Victoria? Contact Amber Aldaco, UHV communications specialist, at 361-570-4296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amber Aldaco is a Communications Specialist at University of Houston-Victoria