Business Fair Offers Workshops To Spur Companies Onward

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur keen to hit the road in your own food truck, or an established owner looking to better manage human resource issues, the spring Hawaii Small Business Fair from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Leeward Community College intends to make your road to success smoother.

“We want (attendees), No. 1, to know what kind of services and information are available from government and nonprofits to help them with their business,” explained Joseph Burns, director of the Oahu chapter of Hawaii Small Business Development Center and one of the fair’s planners.

“And then, No. 2, we want them to have an idea about what is the next step for them, in either forming a business or improving the performance of their existing business.”

Originally established in 2004 and revived in 2011, the free fair is now held twice a year: at Leeward CC in the spring, and at Honolulu Community College in the fall, with an average attendance of 250-275.

The day opens with a “Secrets to Success” presentation from Wayne and Laurie Nunez, founders of Showcase Hawaii Productions and creators of Showcase Hawaii, the state’s only home shopping TV show.

Attendees will then be able to sit in on three of 29 workshops, on topics including media relations, insurance basics, business accounting, social media marketing, copyrights and more.

There also will be exhibits from Business Action Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE, Hawaii Health Connector, state departments, local banks and many other groups.

Those who plan to attend should register as soon as they can at smallbiz-fair2015-1.eventbrite.com — space is limited, and walk-ins are not guaranteed seats. Online registration closes Feb. 17.

Still, even if some of the seminars fill up, Burns said not to worry.

“If they register late and the class is closed, there’s probably a good chance that that class is going to be repeated in the next fair,” Burns said, noting that course offerings are adjusted based on demand. “But why leave it to chance? Nail down the one you want to go to,” he advised.

“I think everyone knows that Hawaii doesn’t rank very high among states that are business-friendly, so this is an effort to counter some of that real or perceived deficiency,” Burns said.

For more information, call 694-8332 or 945-1430.