Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network

 

Statewide Training & Event Calendar

  

All training events are held in Massachusetts unless otherwise noted. Preregistration is required for all events. Each registration link is program-specific. If no link is listed, online registration is not available or registration has closed.

Training registrations are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve your space for fee-based events, mail your payment to the appropriate office with a copy of the completed registration form. We accept credit cards only for the Massachusetts Export Center's events. Your spot is reserved once payment is received by the appropriate office. Training programs may be added or cancelled; the training schedule is subject to change.

Please review our Registration and Cancellation Policies.
 

exportingPartners for TradeThe Massachusetts Export Center organizes seminars, webinars and events throughout the year under Partners for Trade—the official export training initiative of the Commonwealth. The Export Center also offers an opportunity to view archived webinars. For further information, visit www.mass.gov/export.
 
Click on image at right to download the Fall 2018 export training booklet (pdf).

Massachusetts Export Resource CenterThe Massachusetts Export Center created the Massachusetts Export Resource Center, a comprehensive, one-stop resource for accessing a wide range of instructional and practical information on exporting to help your business grow and take advantage of international opportunities. Registration is free!
 

SBA
Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration offers free online training? Click on the SBA logo to view topics.


          

 

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2019 Training Calendar 

 globe = export training
   JANUARY
23 Starting a Business, Step-by-Step (New Bedford)
24 The Health Care Connector For Business Information Session (Salem)
 
   FEBRUARY
4  Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
5 Business Models and the Business Model Canvas (Salem)
8 Legal Clinic (Taunton)
8 Introduction to Government Contracting (Springfield)
19-21 QuickBooks - In-Depth Training for Beginners (Worcester)
20 QuickBooks Desktop: Introduction for Beginners (Springfield)
26 Understanding Business Financials (Salem)
27 Creating Your Business Plan for Success (New Bedford)
 
   MARCH
5 Social Media For Your Business - Where to Begin? (Salem)
5 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
6 Financial Statement Analysis is Easier Than You Think (Worcester)
7 Basics of Starting or Growing Your Business (Greenfield)
11 Business Legal Primer (Springfield)
20 QuickBooks Desktop: Introduction for Beginners (Springfield)
21 Turn Your Video Content Into a Beacon to Attract Your Business Prospects (Salem)
21 Enterprise Requirements Planning (ERP) Evaluation and Selection Services (Worcester)
26 10 Secrets to Getting Free Press (Salem)
27 Your Brand is More Thank Your Logo - Insights from the Front Lines of Marketing (Worcester)
28 Drive Your Business With Social Media (Salem)
 
   APRIL
1 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
3 Don't Get Hacked - Learn How to Protect Your Financial Data (Worcester)
10 From Good Idea to Marketable Product - 8 Steps to Successful Inventing (Worcester)
18 Starting a Food Business - Beyond a Great Recipe (Worcester)
25 Principles of the Lean Office (Worcester)
 
   MAY
1 Business Continuity Strategies - Building Business Value (Worcester)
2 Basics of Starting or Growing Your Business (Greenfield)
6 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
15 Understanding Your Company's Financial Statements (Springfield)
 
   JUNE
3 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
3 Business Legal Primer (Springfield)
 
   JULY
11 Basics of Starting or Growing Your Business (Greenfield)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Descriptions


How to Become a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Holder and Government Contracting 101

PTAC     U.S. Small Business Administration

This free one-day workshop is typically held monthly in Boston. This workshop, designed to encourage and support small businesses interested in obtaining a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract; learn more about contracting opportunities, the procurement process and resources available. Not sure which solicitation applies to your product or service? Refer to GSA's Schedules e-Library website in order to view or download solicitations. You can also view and download solicitations by visiting the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website.

Before attending the workshop, please review the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program and the GSA Vendor Tool Box. Please direct any questions regarding the GSA MAS Program to the GSA MAS Helpdesk (National Customer Service Center) by phone at  800-488-3111 or by email at mashelpdesk@gsa.gov. Space is limited, so register early!

To register, click on a specific date below and you will be transferred to the registration form. Space is limited to the first 25 participants, so register early!

Date:  TBA
Time: Registration 9:45 a.m.; Program 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building, 10 Causeway Street, 1st Floor, Boston - check registration form for exact room location
Cost: Free
Contact: Questions about GSA Multiple Award Schedules Program, contact the GSA MAS Helpdesk at 800-488-3111 or by email at mashelpdesk@gsa.gov. For difficulties with seminar registration, please contact Stephen Edmonds at sedmonds@umass.edu or 781-801-3036.

Introduction to Government Contracting

PTACThis workshop is only for small businesses located in the Western Massachusetts area. It will focus on how to potentially do business with the federal, state and local governments. Learn about free and confidential Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center services — including electronic bidmatching service. It will also provide a brief overview of government procurement/contracting and basic steps on marketing products and/or services to the government. The session will conclude with a brief Q&A session.

Presented by Grace Otta of Massachusetts Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Western Massachusetts region.

To register for an event, click on a specific date below and you will be transferred to the registration form. Space is limited, so register early!

Dates:  Monday, January 14, 2019  |  Friday, February 8, 2019
Time: Registration 10:25 a.m.; Program 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, Training Room, One Federal Street, Building 101, 1st Floor, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Grace Otta at gotta@umass.edu or 413-545-6303

SBA Workshops

U.S. Small Business AdministrationThese workshops will help you gain a better understanding of the various U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs and services that are available to prospective or current entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or expanding their businesses. 

General information will be provided on the following programs and services:

  • SCORE – Counselors to America’s Small Business
  • MSBDC – Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
  • SBA Guaranty Loan Programs: 7(a) Loans, Micro Loans, SBA Express Loans, and 504 Project Loan Program
  • Government Contracting Opportunities: 8(a) Business Development, HUBZones (Historically Underutilized Business Zones), Small Disadvantaged Business, and Surety Bonding
  • Disaster Assistance 

These free two-hour programs are offered frequently at various locations. Click here to visit SBA's website for dates, locations and registration information.

Cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and area chambers of commerce

Legal Clinics (offered monthly in Southeast Massachusetts)

Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP'We are pleased to announce that Christopher Cassara, Esq., partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP (PSH), is continuing to hold free Legal Clinics in our office and at our outreach locations. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are eligible to meet one-time, one-on-one for 30 minutes, to discuss general legal questions such as corporate structure, leases, contracts, insurance, employment, franchising, and various other business related issues.

Christopher CassaraAll services are provided by PSH which is not acting as an agent and/or representative of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network. By meeting with PSH you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the MSBDC from any and all claims and liability arising from your session with PSH. Participants will receive a general waiver statement prior to their meeting.

These free and confidential 30-minute sessions are offered once a month at various locations. Space is limited and registration is required. Registration opens online two weeks prior to each legal clinic's date. If you have questions, please call the MSBDC office at 508-673-9783.

As a courtesy to Attorney Cassara, who is volunteering his time for the clinics, please call our office at at least 24 hours in advance if you cannot attend your appointment.

Dates: Monthly on Fridays - see dates below
Times: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (30-minute appointments)
Location: Varies
Cost: Free
Contact: Online registration is required below. Call the MSBDC office at 508-673-9783 with questions.

Register online by clicking on the desired date below:

  • Friday, January 11, 2019 [click here to register]
    Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce, 70 Main Street, Buzzards Bay
    Cosponsored by the Cape Cod Canal Region Chamber of Commerce
  • Friday, February 8, 2019 [click here to register]
    SEED Corporation, 80 Dean Street, Taunton
    Cosponsored by SEED Corporation
  • Friday, March 29, 2019 [registration link coming soon]
    Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, 200 Pocasset Street, Fall River
    Cosponsored by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce
  • Friday, April 12, 2019 [registration link coming soon]
    United Regional Chamber of Commerce, 310 South Street, Plainville
    Cosponsord by the United Regional Chamber of Commerce

Basics of Starting a Business

biz startupLearn the whole nine yards of starting a business! This free workshop will focus on business fundamentals, from start-up considerations to business plan development and funding sources. It will help entrepreneurs write a business plan and provide structure to starting/managing their venture. This workshop is appropriate for anyone who wants to start a business and existing business owners looking for guidance on creating a business plan and securing financing to grow their business.

Topics will include: introduction and need for planning; basic business plan format; choosing your legal form of organization; marketing, market planning and research; cash flow projections; financial statements; and financing.

In addition, there will be an overview of the U.S. Small Business Administration's programs and services. The presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the various SBA programs and services available to prospective or current entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or expanding their businesses, and will include capital, counseling and contracting information.

Oreste Varela, branch manager of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Springfield, will be a speaker. In addition, Allen Kronick, a senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office, will speak.

There is no charge for these workshops, but pre-registration is required. To register, click on the appropriate date below. If you have questions or problems registering online, please contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.
 

Basics of Starting or Growing Your Business

Learn the whole nine yards of starting a business! This free workshop will help entrepreneurs write a business plan and provide structure to starting/managing their venture. It will also focus on business fundamentals; from startup considerations to business plan development and funding sources. Both those who want to start a business and existing business owners looking for guidance on creating a business plan and securing financing to grow their business will find this session helpful.

Topics will include: introduction and need for planning; Basic business plan format; choosing your legal form of organization; marketing, market planning and research; cash flow projections; financial statements; and financing.

In addition, there will be an overview of the U.S. Small Business Administration's programs and services. The presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the various SBA programs and services available to prospective or current entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or expanding their businesses, and will include capital, counseling and contracting information.

Bonus: If your business is food-related, you are invited to attend a guided tour of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation commercial kitchen following the workshop. Please follow these guidelines when visiting the commercial kitchen: no open-toed shoes, tank tops, or strong perfumes/colognes and limited jewelry. Anyone under the age of 18 is not permitted in the commercial kitchen area.

Oreste Varela, branch manager of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Springfield, will be a speaker. In addition, Anita Eliason, a senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Western Regional Office, will speak.

There is no charge for these workshops, but pre-registration is required. To register, click on the appropriate date below. If you have questions or problems registering online, please contact the MSBDC Western Regional Office at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.
 

Legal Clinic for Small Business 

legal adviceThe Massachusetts Small Business Development Center's Western Regional Office is pleased to announce that we are once again offering free legal clinics for small business owners. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with an attorney to discuss general legal questions such as corporate structure, leases, contracts, insurance, employment, franchising, and various other business related issues.

Participants will receive a general waiver statement prior to the meeting and are eligible to attend a 30-minute legal clinic only once. If you have already taken advantage of this opportunity, please do not register again. Appointments are in 30-minute timeslots with the first appointment starting at 12:30 p.m. Appointments are required and subject to availability. As a courtesy to the attorneys, if you cannot attend your appointment, please contact our office at least 24 hours in advance.

To register for a session, please click on a date below and complete the registration form. If you have questions or problems registering online, please contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.
 

  • TBA

Cosponsored by SCORE and SPARK

Starting a Business, Step-by-Step

So you want to be an entrepreneur, your own boss, a multimillionaire! Starting a business is a major undertaking if you want to do it right and maximize the likelihood of success. 

Join us for a fast-paced, dynamic workshop which will take you from feasibility analysis to licensing and permitting to business planning to financing criteria. Cliff Robbins, senior business advisor at MSBDC, will present this free workshop to anyone is in the process or thinking about starting their own business. 

Space is limited and online registration is required.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: Registration 2:15 p.m.; Workshop 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: The Quest Center, 1213 Purchase Street, 2nd Floor NBEDC Conference Room, New Bedford (enter through front door and take elevator to the 2nd floor)
Cost: Free
Contact: Call the MSBDC office at 508-673-9783 with questions

Cosponsored by the New Bedford Economic Development Council

The Health Care Connector For Business Information Session

Are you a small business owner with 1-50 employees? Are you wondering if you need to comply with an employer mandate and what kind of health insurance is compliant with the law? Are you interested in learning about ways you can save on your health insurance premiums? If so, this information session can help you!

Since 2006, the Massachusetts Health Connector has helped small businesses to find and compare affordable health insurance in Massachusetts. In 2019, Health Connector for Business is also featuring new choice options where employers can set a fixed contribution and let their employees shop among over 50 plans from seven leading health insurers.

The speakers will be Health Care Connector staff members.

Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019
Time: Information Session from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.; Speak directly with Health Care Connector Staff from 11:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Lesley Smythe at the Enterprise Center at lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                    

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Business Models and the Business Model Canvas

Learn how to use the Business Model Canvas, a popular tool that helps entrepreneurs think through all the critical elements and building blocks needed for business success. The speaker will be Barry Horwitz of Horwitz & Company LLC.

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

QuickBooks - In-Depth Training for Beginners

This three-night, nine-hour QuickBooks workshop includes information regarding setup, data entry and financial reporting. These sessions are open discussion, non-threatening, not overwhelming and you will be able to ask specific questions. Topics to be covered include an explanation of QuickBooks, accounting basics required to utilize the software, set up of accounts and reports. 

If you have never used QuickBooks or don't understand how to leverage this powerful financial management tool, you should not miss this three-evening seminar series.

The presenter will be Nancy Burgess, president and owner of Burgess Consulting. Nancy's interactive teaching style will leave you empowered and ready to tackle the financial management of your business.

Registration is limited to 15 people. 

Dates: February 19 - 21, 2019
Time: 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $199
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Understanding Business Financials

If you are a business owner, the better you know your numbers the more successful you will be. Learn how to read and interpret the financial reports that drive your business including: income statements; profit and loss; balance sheet; and sales figures and operations metrics. The speaker will be Wendy Sabin, CPA with Sabin Consulting. 

Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Lesley Smythe at the Enterprise Center at lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                    

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Creating Your Business Plan for Success

Who needs a business plan? If you're in business, YOU DO! The old expression is true, "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." 

Join Cliff Robbins, senior business advisor at MSBDC, for this presentation that will show you how to write a business plan that will pave the way for you to build a successful business. 

Space is limited and online registration is required.  

Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Time:
Registration 2:15 p.m.; Workshop 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Location:
The Quest Center, 1213 Purchase Street, 2nd Floor NBEDC Conference Room, New Bedford (enter through front door and take elevator to the 2nd floor)
Cost: Free
Contact: Call the MSBDC office at 508-673-9783 with questions

Cosponsord by the New Bedford Economic Development Council

Social Media For Your Business - Where to Begin?

Do you want to know how social media can help your business but don't know where to begin? Learn how to decide which of these marketing tools will help your business grow and succeed. The speaker will be Lew Sabbag, founder of Publish Today Media LLC.

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Lesley Smythe at the Enterprise Center at lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                    

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Financial Statement Analysis is Easier Than You Think

Now that the calendar year has ended, so did the fiscal year for most small businesses. This presents a tremendous opportunity to get started using some simple data analysis to gain insight into your business.

You or your accountant has likely put together a Profit and Loss, or P&L statement for the last year. You may have reviewed these financials and maybe even caught a line or two that you are curious about. But, have you caught all the hidden money that you are losing? 

Data analytics and Big Data are trendy topics these days that frankly scare most small business owners. Analytics should not be scary and most businesses can reap tremendous benefits from basic analysis.

In this workshop, you’ll learn some fundamental analytics using basic tools. We’ll focus on P&L trends that many business owners simply do not examine due to lack of time or resources. And that’s a shame, because basic data is where all your hidden profits lie just waiting to be found.

The speaker will be Leo Sharkey, a senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, Central Regional Office.

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Business Legal Primer

This presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the core legal concepts impacting your business. 

  • Choice of Entity – What does it mean to be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company or corporation; which type is right for your business?
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Avoiding the steep risks of misclassification -- the basics of determining whether you are hiring an employee or engaging an independent contractor.
  • Trademark, patent or copyright – What’s the difference, when and how you need to get one.

Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below.

Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.

Cosponsored by SCORE

QuickBooks Desktop: Introduction for Beginners

This is an introduction to the popular accounting program QuickBooks. This session will cover setting up a new company, invoicing and receiving payments, writing checks and paying bills. The session will end with a brief introduction to and overview of reports.

This session is suitable for those who have recently started using QuickBooks and those planning to use it. The basic principles of QuickBooks remain the same for the Windows, Macintosh, and on-line versions of the program although specific details of how to accomplish a task may differ slightly. It is not required, but if you have a laptop or tablet and have QuickBooks loaded on it, feel free to bring it and follow along. 

NOTE: This workshop is designed for training on the Basics of QuickBooks and is not intended to troubleshoot problems individuals may currently be experiencing. Those types of questions are better suited to a one-one consulting session.

Presented by Don Lesser, President, Pioneer Training, Inc. Don has been a consultant and business owner for 30+ years. Don has been using QuickBooks since version 2.0 for MS-DOS. He has taught QuickBooks for over 20 years, as well as consulted in its use for a wide range of clients. Don is not an accountant and does not provide accounting advice, but focuses on how to use QuickBooks to track your company’s income and expenses.

Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m.- Noon
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: $35
Contact: If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.

Turn Your Video Content Into a Beacon to Attract Your Business Prospects

Learn how to leverage Video Search Engine Optimization (Video SEO) in your inbound marketing efforts to transform your video content into powerful, searchable text in order to help prospects find your business online. The speaker will be Ryan Reed, president of Rewatchable Video and Marketing.

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Lesley Smythe at the Enterprise Center at lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                    

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Enterprise Requirements Planning (ERP) Evaluation and Selection Services

Many companies use an outdated ERP system that, at best, frustrates users of the system. Implementing a new ERP seems like the perfect solution to these frustrations. However, the selection process can be overwhelming. Determine high level goals Learn how to establish and prioritize your selection criteria Understand the importance of using a formalized selection process.

Presented by MassMEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership).

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Time: 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

10 Secrets to Getting Free Press

Learn how to get free publicity with HARO—HelpAReporter.com—and gain media attention to build your brand, business and bottom line. Discover the tips, tools and tricks you need to get published! The speaker will be Robin Samora, a public relations/small business expert, mentor and speaker.

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Your Brand is More Thank Your Logo - Insights from the Front Lines of Marketing

Julia Becker Collins, chief operating officer of Vision Advertising and Phil Hollows, founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, will present together about understanding what your brand is and how to make the most of your brand in the day-to-day operations of your business and in your marketing. Topics include:

  • How a brand can support and hypercharge your business, but if it's not consistent then it can be a detriment.
  • The importance of understanding your brand and using it to its capacity.
  • Julia and Phil will also cover notable brand moments of 2018.

Come prepared with your brand challenges and be excited to discuss them!

Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Drive Your Business With Social Media

Social media has changed the marketing game! From understanding the different social media platforms. To choosing what to say and where to say it, this workshop will give you the keys to the most effective social media marketing plan. The speaker will be Doreen Nicastro, CEO of Nicastro Consultants.

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem
Cost: Free
Contact: Lesley Smythe at the Enterprise Center at lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                    

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Don't Get Hacked - Learn How to Protect Your Financial Data

Fraud is an ever present threat among business owners today. The latest report from the FBI notes that over 19,000 US victims reported fraud in the past two years alone. As you seek to grow your organization, protection should also be at the forefront of your mind.  

Rockland Trust will give you a perspective from a bank on how to protect your money and data:

  • The top offenders of fraudulent activity
  • Learning lessons from recent attacks
  • How to protect yourself and your team

You will also hear from Libis Bueno of Domitek on ransomware. Managing data is one of the most important and complex IT challenges for organizations of all sizes around the world. At this session, you will learn:

  • Why protecting data is more difficult today than five years ago?
  • How ransomware-as-a-service is making your data a big target
  • How to avoid becoming a victim of ransomware or data loss
  • The importance and benefits of having a Business continuity plan

Speakers include a representative from Rockland Trust and Libis Bueno, CEO/CTO and founder of Domitek.

Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

From Good Idea to Marketable Product - 8 Steps to Successful Inventing

How do you transform a creative concept into a real product? If you want to save time, money and aggravation while giving your project its best chance for success, make this workshop your first stop. Learn the manageable process for getting your project onto a solid foundation while avoiding the traps and pitfalls that can doom a venture.

This workshop is for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and creative individuals… anyone with a new concept regardless of prior experience or stage in product development.

Topics include:

  • Steps to complete before investing your money
  • Common sense approach in the development process
  • Action plan in validating the merits and prospects of your concept
  • Roadmap in launching a new product
  • When or should you trademark, copywrite or patent an invention

Speakers include Elizabeth Pierotti, an inventor and strategic product developer for more than 30 years. Elizabeth has designed and developed innovations for both Fortune 500 companies and small business. Also speaking will be Mary Casey, Esq., who provides intellectual property services to clients around the country.

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Starting a Food Business - Beyond a Great Recipe

You have either made the decision or are considering opening a food business. Do you know what regulations you must adhere to in the food industry in Massachusetts? What rules and regulations do you need comply with in order to legally serve and sell your food? This workshop will take you beyond great recipes.

The Worcester Regional Food Hub kitchen provides a variety of services for start-up and existing food entrepreneurs, including hourly kitchen rentals, technical assistance, workshops, and support. It is designed to bolster a robust regional food system. The Food Hub’s mission is to increase local food access and consumption and recruit, retain, and incubate local food entrepreneurs, collectively building healthy, sustainable, and just communities.

In this workshop you will learn about resources, how to obtain your ServSafe Manager and Allergen Awareness certifications, getting products tested, writing standard operating procedures and other considerations and requirements such as inspections of your facility. Learn what you need to know beyond your business plan.

The speaker will be Shon Rainford, project manager with the Worcester Regional Food Hub.

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Principles of the Lean Office

Inefficiencies in business processes can be difficult to see and bottlenecks are not always obvious. Too often, organizations ignore these wastes and delays. You can produce greater value with higher quality in less time when Lean strategies are applied in your front office. Learn how to visualize a business process Be able to see the waste in it Learn about the tools to drive out that waste

Presented by MassMEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership).

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Alumni Student Engagement Center, Conference Room 202, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Business Continuity Strategies - Building Business Value

An individual may start a business with any number of valid individual personal goals in mind:

  • Current income, short term growth and sell the business quickly
  • Financial security for the next generation
  • Source of retirement income

The key to this process is building business value. Very few people have a solid plan.The goal of this session is to challenge the way you look at and run your business, and help you build a more profitable and stronger company which will build value for your business. They will walk you through the essential steps including strategic review, SWOT analysis, business value cycle, understanding value and drivers of value, and growth strategies.

You own or are running your business for a reason. Please take the time from your busy schedule and the demands of operating your company to attend this strategic workshop. 

The speaker Terrence Shepherd, CM&AA, CPA, MST, managing partner S&G, LLP and principal at ROCG Affiliate.

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Lurie Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: MSBDC Central Regional Office at 508-793-7615

Understanding Your Company's Financial Statements

If you are in business, financial statements are an essential tool. Knowing how to read your financial statements will help you to understand what happened last year in your business and what is likely to happen this year. This workshop will include information on balance sheets, income statements and profit/oss.

The presenter will be Robb Morton who has 30 years of experience in public and management accounting. As both a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, Robb offers an excellent source for not only technical accounting and tax issues, but for management advisory support as well. He has extensive experience working with family owned businesses both as advisor and as a member of their management team. Robb works with many of the area banks and finance companies to assist his clients with their working capital and equipment financing needs. He also has extensive experience in business planning including projections and forecasts.

Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Time: 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: TD Bank, 1441 Main Street, Springfield
Cost: $25
Contact: If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.

Cosponsord by Boiselle, Morton & Wolkowicz, LLP

Business Legal Primer

This presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the core legal concepts impacting your business. 

  • Choice of Entity – What does it mean to be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company or corporation; which type is right for your business?
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Avoiding the steep risks of misclassification -- the basics of determining whether you are hiring an employee or engaging an independent contractor.
  • Trademark, patent or copyright – What’s the difference, when and how you need to get one.

Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below.

Date: Monday, June 3, 2019
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768.

Cosponsored by SCORE