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 2017 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!
 

SBADid 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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2018 Calendar 

 globe = export training
   FEBRUARY
15 CFIUS Regulations for Foreign Investment in the U.S.: Anticipated Trends and Lessons Learned from Recent Cases (webinar) globe
15 Take the Fear Out Of Networking and Grow Your Business (Salem)
16 Legal Clinic (Taunton)
20 Business Planning Series (Springfield)
21 How to Become a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Holder and Government Contracting 101 (Boston)
27 24th Annual International Networking Evening & Business Forum: Protecting Your Crown Jewels (Boston)
 
   MARCH
1 How to Create Buzz For Your Business (Salem)
1 SEED Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Session I: Introduction to the Fundamentals of Business Ownership (Dedham)
1 SEED Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Session II: Understanding and Preparing Financial Statements (Dedham)
2 Brown Bag Lunch & Learn — How to Create an Effective Social Media Strategy (Springfield)  
5 Basics of Starting a Business (Westfield)
7 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Springfield)
14 Building Business Value (Worcester)
15 How to Use Social Media for Success (Salem)
22 10 Ways to Attract New Customers on Social Media & Turn Them Into Raving Fans! (Haverhill)
22 From Good Idea to Marketable Product (Worcester)
23 Legal Clinic (Fall River)
27 Nine Social Branding Secrets for Success (Salem)
27 Legal Clinic for Small Business (Springfield)  
 
   APRIL
2 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
5 Basics of Starting a Business (Greenfield)
5 Your Brand vs. Your Website (Worcester)
19 Social Media and Trending Marketing Topics (Worcester)
26 Maximizing Cash Flow (Haverhill)
27 Legal Clinic (Plainville)
 
   MAY
3 Where e-Mail Marketing Goes Wrong and How to Make It Go Right (Worcester)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Descriptions


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

PTAC     SBA

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!

Dates:  Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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@msbdc.umass.edu or 781-801-3036.

SBA Workshops

SBAThese 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. Please click here 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'The MSBDC is pleased to announce that Christopher Cassara, Esq., a 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 below
Times: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (30-minute appointments)
Location: Varies
Cost: Free
Contact: MSBDC office at 508-673-9783 with questions

Register online by clicking on the desired date below:

Basics of Starting a Business

Learn 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, either Allen Kronick or Anita Eliason, senior business advisors 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.

CFIUS Regulations for Foreign Investment in the U.S.: Anticipated Trends and Lessons Learned from Recent Cases

Sorry, registration is closed.

CFIUS is an inter-agency committee of the U.S. government authorized to review, investigate and block any transaction or investment that could result in the control of any U.S. business or asset by a foreign person that may raise national security concerns or involve critical infrastructure. At its core, CFIUS is made up of representatives from nine federal agencies and is chaired by the Department of Treasury.

CFIUS reviews have sharply risen in recent years as foreign investment in the U.S. has increased. Moreover, the recent blocking of China-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners to acquire Lattice Semiconductor confirms speculation that CFIUS reviews are likely to face increased scrutiny under the Trump Administration, with an anticipated increase in mitigation requirements, withdrawals and blocks.

Join us for this webinar to learn about the CFIUS review process, including key players, steps, recent trends and outlook for the future. The webinar will also provide insight on preparing for CFIUS reviews, including risk assessment, filing preparation and strategies for working with CFIUS.

Our speaker will be Kerry Scarlott, partner with BakerHostetler.

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST
Location: Webinar
Cost: $50 / no charge for Compliance Alliance members
Contact:
Massachusetts Export Center at 617-973-8664

Take the Fear Out Of Networking and Grow Your Business

Studies show that networking is among the most successful marketing strategies. Yet, many people would rather have a root canal. Learn how to make networking easy, fun and enjoyable with this interactive session and watch your business grow.

The speaker will be Marc Slafsky, a certified insurance counselor with Salem Insurance Services.

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018
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 lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                   

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Business Planning Series

Join us for this new five-part series, Scale Up: Take Your Business to the Next Level. The series will focus on business fundamentals from startup considerations to business plan development and funding sources. Just a few topics that will covered are: communicating your vision; streamlining your finances; operating more efficiently; strategizing a marketing plan.

Who should attend? Anyone wanting to have a plan for developing a successful business. Businesses who have been around awhile and would like to revisit the original plan and bring your businesses to the next level.  

Workshop facilitators are Anita Eliason, senior business advisor and Samalid Hogan, regional director, both with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network, Western Regional Office.  

Dates: Tuesdays, January 23 - February 20, 2018
Time: 3:45 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: No charge
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

24th Annual International Networking Evening & Business Forum

cosponsorsProtecting Your Crown Jewels: Understanding cyber risk in the 21st century: from nation state hackers to EU regulators

Ten years ago, hacked firms counted lost data and hampered productivity as the most likely consequences of a cyber attack. Today, malware with names like WannaCry and Mirai can literally put firms out of business: cutting them off from the Internet or wiping out critical systems and data to bring even sophisticated organizations to their knees.

What can be done to defend against these modern threats? If cyber attacks are now less a matter of “if” than of “when,” what are the threats worth paying attention to?

What defenses provide the best value for the dollar (or Pound or Euro or Bitcoin)?

What is the best way to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the IT systems and data that run your business? What new regulations loom on the horizon?

Speakers include:

  • Ezra Church, partner with Morgan Lewis (Philadelphia office)
  • Dean Evans,  IT Infrastructure & Cybersecurity at Satori Consulting
  • Gerrit Lansing, architect at CyberArk
  • Betsy Ludwig, consultant
  • Paul Roberts, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Security Ledger
Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Time: Registration 5:30 p.m.; Program 6:00 p.m. with networking reception to follow
Location: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, One Federal Street, Boston
Cost: $45 GBANE members or $60 non-members
Contact: Register online with link below. Questions? Contact the Massachusetts Export Center at 617-973-8664.

register online

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Export Center, the Global Business Alliance of New England, the British American Business Council of New England and Morgan Lewis

SEED Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Session I: Introduction to the Fundamentals of Business Ownership

SEED CorporationThis workshop is geared toward helping potential entrepreneurs evaluate and understand the fundamentals of owning one’s own business. Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing, and the loan application process will be presented. Attendees will be provided with a guide to writing a business plan and other materials.  Complimentary breakfast and lunch provided.

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: Registration 9:30 a.m.; Workshop: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Dedham Institute for Savings, 55 Elm Street, Dedham
Cost: Free
Contact: SEED Corporation at 508-822-1020 ext. 318

Held in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), MA Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), and SCORE. Sponsored by SEED Corporation and Dedham Institute for Savings.

SEED Basic Entrepreneurial Workshop: Session II: Understanding and Preparing Financial Statements

SEED CorporationThe focus of this workshop is to help attendees understand a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. The workshop also explains how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his/her business more efficiently. 

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Dedham Institute for Savings, 55 Elm Street, Dedham
Cost: Free
Contact: SEED Corporation at 508-822-1020 ext. 318

Held in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), MA Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), and SCORE. Sponsored by SEED Corporation and Dedham Institute for Savings.

How to Create Buzz For Your Business

Get media coverage for you and your company by knowing how and when to pitch your story for the best chances of success. Learn ways to work with different media to become a trusted and reliable source.

The speaker will be David Thomson, principal with Thomson Communications.

Date: Thursday, March 1, 2018
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 lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                   

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University and North Shore Alliance for Economic Development

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn —  How to Create an Effective Social Media Strategy

The purpose of these monthly brown bag lunches (participants bring their own lunch) is to connect small business owners with their peers and to network with professionals and leaders in our community. Small business owners looking for information about how to make social media part of your marketing plan should attend this event.

Samalid Hogan, MSBDC Western Mass Office regional director, will discuss various social media platforms and how best to use them to elevate your business.

We are planning to have a different topic/theme on one Friday each month. There is no fee for this series...just sign up and bring your lunch!

Date: Friday, March 2, 2018
Time: 11:45 a.m.  - 1:15 p.m.                           
Location: TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main Street, Springfield 
Cost:
No charge
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

The Tax Act and Jobs Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. As approved by Congress, the act impacts virtually every individual and business on a level not seen in 30 years. 

This presentation will talk about the winners and losers under the legislation. We will discuss the lower income tax rates for all and the repeal or reduction of many tax deductions and credits as well as enhanced child credit provisions and greater business expensing. The bill also impacts the Affordable Care Act.

The speaker will be Robb Morton of Boiselle, Morton & Associates, LLP. Robb 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, March 7, 2018
Time: 8:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: No charge
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

Cosponsored by Boiselle, Morton & Wolkowicz, LLP

Building Business Value - Strategies For Increasing Profit

An individual may start a business with any number of valid personal goals in mind:  current income, short term growth and sell the business quickly, financial security for the next generation, or a source of retirement income. A key to this process is to build significant business value. Very few people have a solid plan or understand the process of maximizing the value of the firm. 

The goal of this session is to challenge the way you look at and run your business and help you build a stronger more profitable company which will build value for your business.

The speaker will be Terence Shepherd, CM&AA, CPA, MST, managing partner at Shepherd & Goldstein, LLP of Worcester.

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Grace Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University at 508-793-7615

MSBDC register online

How to Use Social Media for Success

Social media is an effective sales tool….if used well. Learn the fundamentals of social media, and how to integrate it into your communication plans effectively, while avoiding pitfalls that prevent progress.

The speaker will be Jennifer Powell, principal of The Excellent Writers Group.

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018
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 lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                   

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

10 Ways to Attract New Customers on Social Media & Turn Them Into Raving Fans!

Learn how to find your target market, discover where your audience hangs out online, how they like to "be social", and what makes them tick/click. In this practical and fun workshop, see what social media tips, tricks and tools will attract the customers you've been looking for, then create a base of raving fans who always want to buy—from you!

The speaker will be Robin Samora, public relations / small business marketing expert, mentor and speaker.

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location:
Northern Essex Community College, Opportunity Works, 671 Kenoza Street, Haverhill
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by Northern Essex Community College

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! We will address a manageable process for getting your project onto a solid foundation while avoiding the traps and pitfalls that can doom a venture.

Speakers include:

  • Mary Casey, Esq., managing attorney with The Harbor Law Group of Northborough
  • Elizabeth Pierotti, owner, inventor & educator with The Inventing Life of Greene, RI

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time:
9:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Grace Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University at 508-793-7615

MSBDC register online

Nine Social Branding Secrets for Success

Learn social branding tips, tools, and tactics to create an online image that brings your brand to life and generates business. Find out why the press loves social branding and how you can make it work for you.

The speaker will be Robin Samora, public relations & small business marketing expert, mentor and speaker.

Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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 lsmythe@enterprisectr.org or 978-542-2021                                                   

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Legal Clinic for Small Business

The MSBDC Western Regional Office is pleased to announce that we are offering free legal clinics for small business owners. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can meet one-on-one with an attorney to discuss general legal questions such as corporate structure, leases, contracts, insurance, employment, franchising, and various other business-related issues. Appointments are 30 minutes.

Participants are eligible to attend one 30-minute legal clinic. Appointments are required and subject to availability. As a courtesy to the attorneys, if you cannot attend your appointment, please contact our office at 413-577-1768 or msbdc@msbdc.umass.edu at least 24 hours in advance.

Date:  Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Time: 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: No charge
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

Cosponsored by SCORE and SPARK

Your Brand vs. Your Website - How to Get the Most Impact

What makes you different, your brand, will serve as the building blocks for your website. Your website's goal is to build awareness, offer information, and to compel a viewer to take action that results in sales. 

This workshop will help you define your brand so that you can visually communicate who you are, what you do, and know what sets you apart, along with how to keep your brand consistent across all marketing mediums.

Speakers include:

  • Stephanie Audette-Connor, owner of Stephanie Audette Design, LLC of North Grafton
  • Lysa Miller, partner and vice president of sales & marketing of 3 Media Web in Hudson

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time:
9:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Grace Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University at 508-793-7615

MSBDC register online

Social Media and Trending Marketing Topics - Learn Tips and Strategies from Davis Advertising

Davis Advertising is one of the largest agencies in New England and has consistently been named the area's number one agency under the "Top Advertising & PR Firms." Listen to key insights that will impact your marketing strategies. Whether you are a young business or an established business, this is a great opportunity to learn, keep current on technology and keep your marketing plan laser sharp.

The speaker will be Andy Davis, president of Davis Advertising of Worcester.

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Grace Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University at 508-793-7615

MSBDC register online

Maximizing Cash Flow

Why is cash flow so important? Understanding and managing cash flow is essential to position your business for success, and for access to debt and equity financing.

The speaker will be Bruce Share, owner of Share Business Growth Strategies, LLC.

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Northern Essex Community College, Opportunity Works, 671 Kenoza Street, Haverhill
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by Northern Essex Community College

Where e-Mail Marketing Goes Wrong and How to Make It Go Right - The Do's and Don'ts of e-Mail

Marketing with the best intentions you carefully crafted an email marketing letter or newsletter, launched the email campaign, only to find that no one responded. Why? 

This down-to-earth workshop will help you design strategies concerning:-

  • Increasing your brand awareness and credibility vs. devaluing your brand and credibility
  • Attracting customers vs. turning them off
  • Getting results vs. wasting your precious time

The speaker will be Matt Ward, owner, president/CEO of inConcert Web Solutions, Inc., of Grafton.

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Clark University, Higgins University Center, Grace Conference Room, 950 Main Street, Worcester
Cost: $25
Contact: Massachusetts Small Business Development Center at Clark University at 508-793-7615

MSBDC register online