DALTON — When starting a small business in the Berkshires, it's hard to know how to begin. Where should a budding entrepreneur look for help?
That advice will be in the same room Tuesday at the Business Resource Expo. More than two dozen groups that support small businesses will gather at the Stationery Factory in Dalton for the half-day event, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required at bcbizexpo.com. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
Three panel discussions led by regional economic experts are planned. A networking area will be available for conversations and meetings.
"This is a confluence of a couple of different things coming from different directions," said Deborah Gallant, the executive director of Entrepreneurship for All-Berkshire County of Pittsfield, which is coordinating the event. The three other collaborating agencies are 1Berkshire, the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation, and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. The Berkshire Eagle is the event's media sponsor.
"There are so many crisscrossing programs and opportunities, so it's hard for a small business to know where to go," Gallant said.
"Now, that COVID is at least, hopefully, behind us, I think there's this really big appetite for getting together," she said. "People really get the value of this and they can't wait to meet with small-business owners and tell them about the programs they have."
People will get help on technical assistance programs, applying for funding or grant programs and marketing and other support.
Gallant said most groups helping are nonprofits or government-affiliated. "But we'll also have banks that want to talk about their small-business loans, CDCs (Community Development Corporations) and chambers of commerce."
The panel discussions will include: "Which Organization Can Help Me With What"? moderated by Ben Lamb of 1Berkshire; "Fueling Your Business: Where's the Money?" moderated by Raymond Lanza-Weil of Common Capital; and "How Can I Find More Customers ... What Marketing Works?" moderated by Noah Cook-Dubin of Kanoa Consulting.