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 Spring 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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2018 Training Calendar 

 globe = export training
   AUGUST
10 Introduction to Government Contracting (Springfield)
24 Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Key Legal Considerations when Marketing through Social Media (Springfield)
 
   SEPTEMBER
5 How to Become a GSA Federal Supply Schedule Holder and Government Contracting 101 (Boston)
14 Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Benefits of Working with a Staffing Agency (Springfield)
17 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
21 STEP Grant Application Process (webinar) globe
24 Business Legal Primer (Springfield)
 
   OCTOBER
Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield) 
Basics of Starting a Business (Greenfield) 
10  QuickBooks Desktop: Introduction for Beginners (Springfield) 
17  10 Tried, True & Trending Tools to Supercharge Site Traffic (Springfield) 
 
   NOVEMBER
5 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield) 
Understanding Your Company's Cash Flow (Springfield) 
14  QuickBooks Desktop: Advanced - Getting More Out of QuickBooks (Springfield) 
   
   DECEMBER
Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield) 
Basics of Starting a 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!

Dates:  Wednesday, September 5, 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@umass.edu or 781-801-3036.

Introduction to Government Contracting

PTACThis workshop is primarily for small businesses located in the Springfield and Western Massachusetts area and 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:  Friday, August 10, 2018
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'The MSBDC is pleased to announce that Christopher Cassara, Esq., a partner at Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP (PSH), is continuing to offer 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: Online registration is required below. Call the MSBDC office at 508-673-9783 with questions.

Register online by clicking on the desired date below:

  • TBA

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 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.
 

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

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Key Legal Considerations when Marketing through Social Media

brown bag seriesThe discussion will focus on key legal concepts that entrepreneurs should consider when using social media as a marketing vehicle for their business. Social Media is key to a small business marketing strategy, but you must be aware of any issues that could affect your business negatively.

Presented by James C. Duda, Esq., Partner with Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP. Jim is the coordinator of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group and Environmental Law Practice Group and a member of the Schools, Colleges and Universities Practice Group. Jim specializes in helping clients develop, protect and maximize the value of their intellectual property. As an attorney and professional engineer, Jim brings to the firm both legal and technical expertise.

There is no fee for the Lunch & Learn Series. Just sign up and bring your lunch. Register online with link below.

Date: Friday, August 24, 2018
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Lynn Shedd at the MSBDC at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

Brown Bag Lunch & Learn: Benefits of Working with a Staffing Agency

brown bag seriesWhy use a staffing agency? How does using a staffing agency save you time, costs and resources? How to determine if hiring through an agency makes sense for you? Why culture and fit is important?  How to make sure you provide a safe environment for field staff? Differences between temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire placements.

Presented by Victoria Owen, Business Development Specialist with United Personnel. She brings a wealth of knowledge about business operations and human resources priorities to her current role at United Personnel. Victoria leverages over 20 years of industry expertise in employee benefits, strategic planning, and business development to support clients and candidates throughout Western Massachusetts.

There is no fee for the Lunch & Learn Series. Just sign up and bring your lunch. Register online with link below.

Date: Friday, September 14, 2018
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. 
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Lynn Shedd at the MSBDC at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online      

STEP Grant Application Process

Join us to learn about the Massachusetts State Trade Expansion Program ("STEP"), which is available to eligible Massachusetts small businesses for the purpose of increasing export sales of their goods and services. 

The Massachusetts STEP program is administered by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Export Center, through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

This webinar will discuss the parameters of the Massachusetts STEP program and walk participants through the STEP application process. The webinar will provide guidance on completing the application and discuss specific elements that are critical for successful applicants. The webinar will also provide tips on assessing export readiness and planning international marketing activities in support of the STEP application. 

Those applicants who have demonstrated a strong commitment to exporting with a well-planned export strategy will have the best likelihood of success!

Special Note: Federal funding for the 2018-2019 Massachusetts STEP program has not yet been appropriated. Applicants must complete and submit their applications with the understanding that there is a risk that the program will not be funded. Applicants must also understand that grant awards are made on a competitive basis. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/export/step.

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Online
Cost: No charge
Contact: Massachusetts Export Center at 617-973-8664

register online

Business Legal Primer

Sarah WilleyThis presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the core legal concepts impacting your business. Topics include:

  • 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?

Presented by Sarah Willey, attorney with Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP.

Date: Monday, September 24, 2018
Time: 9:00 - 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

QuickBooks Desktop: Introduction for Beginners

QuickBooksThis 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 online 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, 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-on-one consulting session.

Presented by Don Lesser, president of Pioneer Training, Inc. Don has been a consultant and business owner for over 30 years. He has been using QuickBooks since version 2.0 for MS-DOS. Don 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, October 10, 2018
Time: 8:45 a.m. - 12 noon
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost:
$35
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

10 Tried, True & Trending Tools to Supercharge Site Traffic

The two presenters spend countless hours helping businesses figure out who their customers are and how to provoke them to action! In this interactive workshop, they will show you their top 10 tried, true, and trending tools to drive traffic to your website and how to apply them to your business. They will make sure you leave with useful resources and new ways of thinking to supercharge your online marketing!

Presented by Silvana Gravini, owner of Silvana.Net Internet Marketing Design and  Karen Utgoff, owner of Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting. Silvana is a life-long marketing consultant with special expertise in website and print design, website coding, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Social Media Marketing. Karen is a market-oriented business strategist who works at the intersection of market, customer, and business development. In her consulting practice, Karen works with small businesses and startups to identify target markets and other fundamentals that drive business strategy as well as effective marketing and sales.

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost:
$25
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

Understanding Your Company's Cash Flow

Your business runs on cash—cash in and cash out—a very critical aspect to you and your business. Understanding Your Company's Cash Flow  will help you understand what cash flow is, why it's so important and how to monitor it. Whether you hire someone to handle your financials or do them yourself, you must understand these fundamentals.  This workshop will teach:

  • the basics of cash flow
  • the timing of cash inflows and outflows
  • how cash flow is different from profit
  • how to manage your cash flow projections
  • how to improve your company’s cash flow

Presented by Robb Morton, managing partner with Boiselle, Morton & Associates, LLP CFM, CMA, CPA. Robb has more than 30 years experience in public and management accounting. As both a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant, he offers an excellent source for not only technical accounting and tax issues but for management advisory support as well. With over seven years experience as a controller, Robb has a unique perspective when dealing with the challenges faced by his small business clients. He also has extensive experience working with family-owned businesses both as advisor and as a member of their management team. 

Date: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Time: 8:45 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: TD Bank, 1441 Main Street, Springfield
Cost: $25
Contact: Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online

QuickBooks Desktop: Advanced - Getting More Out of QuickBooks

QuickBooksThis workshop is designed for users who have been using QuickBooks in their business and who want to get more out of it. The session will cover reporting, advanced invoicing and billing, and the customization of QuickBooks for specific requirements. The session will provide a brief introduction to QuickBook’s payroll and inventory functions.

NOTE: Attendees will have the opportunity to ask specific questions, but the session is not intended to provide detailed troubleshooting. Those types of questions are better suited to a one-to-one consulting session.

Presented by Don Lesser, president of Pioneer Training, Inc. Don has been a consultant and business owner for over 30 years. He has been using QuickBooks since version 2.0 for MS-DOS. Don 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, November 14, 2018
Time: 8:45 a.m. - Noon
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, 3rd Floor, Springfield
Cost:
$35
Contact:
Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1768

MSBDC register online