MIDJersey Chamber Helps Advance Small Business Growth with Informative Workshop
For Immediate Release –
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Workshop on Business Plans, Entity Formation a Major Success
On Wednesday June 14, the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce hosted an event in conjunction with the Hispanic Business Council discussing the different challenges and requirements for building a small business in today’s economic climate. The event was sponsored by Wells Fargo and PNC Bank. Panelists for the event included Andre Maia, Jose Taveras and Luis Peralta from Wells Fargo, and Marta Cruz Gold, Esq. from the Law Offices of Marta Cruz Gold in Lawrenceville. The opening remarks were offered by Francis E. Blanco, the first Latina Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Trenton. Although the event was primarily held in English, conversation among the participants was bilingual in both English and Spanish. Members of the Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council, as well as representatives of the local small business community, were in attendance.
Blanco introduced the event by discussing how the City of Trenton is working to retain businesses through different partnerships and programs. Through groups such as the Trenton Downtown Association, Trenton Business Working Group and Eat Local Clubs, as well as services and funding for struggling small businesses, the city has seen growth within its business sector. “It’s not just our job…not just the need” Blanco mentioned, referring to the ways the city helps small businesses, “[It’s] the necessary thing to do.” Over the past three years, more than 20 Latino businesses have opened in the community and Blanco is optimistic about the future of business in the Capital City.
Following the introduction, the panelists shifted the conversations towards the logistics of starting a small business and the challenges that many face. Jose Taveras and Luis Peralta demonstrated the different tools Wells Fargo has available for small businesses on their website, wellsfargoworks.com. The website, available in both English and Spanish, contains tools that help new businesses create a business plan, view their competition, and learn about the different options available for business credit. These tools allow small businesses to understand the market they are in, and helps them focus on what is needed for their business to succeed. “Education is key,” Taveras mentioned, “if they (small businesses) stop learning, they stop innovating.” The tools provide a clear and easy way for businesses to gain the knowledge necessary to not only start up their business, but maintain it for the future. The tools are available for free to all businesses through the website and do not require an account with the bank.
Following the demonstration of the online tools, Marta Cruz Gold, Esq. transitioned the discussion to talk about the different entities and pitfalls of small businesses. Having started her own law firm, and providing corporate legal services, Cruz Gold was able to give her own personal perspective on the topic. She discussed the different ways a business can operate, whether as a Sole Proprietorship, LLC, or Corporation, and which one is suitable for which type of business. She mentioned that every business has four professional needs; a lawyer, an accountant, an insurance provider, and a banker. She discussed a variety of pitfalls that she has witnessed first-hand negatively affect a business. “Everyone is in a rush” she remarked, noting the downside of rushing through the essential steps in creating your business. By working in a rush, people tend to forget the basic essentials such as insurance and keeping up with all local, state, and federal requirements. “Know your cycles,” she advised, “have a plan B.”
The event concluded with time for questions and networking between the participants. Overall, the night was both informative and successful. Local business-owners were able to hear about recent development within the community, and learn about the available tools and resources to help with their respective business plans.