April 21, 2005:NORTON SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOP WILL MEET GROWING NEED FOR CITY'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Jan 11, 2006
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2005

NORTON SMALL BUSINESS WORKSHOP WILL MEET GROWING NEED FOR CITY'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Washington, DC—As new opportunities for small businesses and economic development in the District of Columbia are growing, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is sponsoring her annual Small Business Access to Capital Workshop and Fair, an innovative, nuts and bolts workshop, putting small businesses face-to-face with banks that lend to small businesses and with government contracting officers with contracts to let.  The workshop, for D.C. residents and D.C. business owners only, will take place TOMORROW, Friday, April 22, 2005, from8 AMto 4 PM at the Washington Convention Center, located at 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW.  

About 300 people have pre-registered to attend the free event that will give participants valuable information on how to get commercial business loans instead of using personal loans, how to get on the General Services Administration (GSA) procurement schedule for federal government contracts, and how to start a business here, among other information.  Bank loan officers, SBA specialists and government contracting officers will give one-on-one advice. Loan applications will be taken on the spot.  

Many who have registered are seeking to start a business, but many will be small business owners looking to deepen their knowledge and find funding and loans.  Speakers will include Stephanie Watkins, Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and Joseph Loddo, SBA District Director. Of particular value to minority, disadvantaged and women-owned businesses will be a presentation on subcontracting by representatives of Clark Construction Group, LLC, the largest construction company in the District.  Thirty entities and organizations, including federal and District government agencies, financial service groups, prime contractors and grassroots organizations, will be on hand to give one-on-one counseling sessions. Among them:  SBA, GSA,   Department of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation Security Administration, D.C. Office of Contracting and Procurement, City First Bank of DC, Eagle Bank, BB&T Company, M&T Bank, Innovative Bank, National Women's Business Center, and Consumer Credit Counseling Service.  

“The single largest complaint by business owners is the lack of access to capital and commercial loans, as opposed to consumer loans, causing them to go in debt to keep their businesses afloat.  This free workshop will meet a real need as our city is experiencing significant construction and economic growth.  Residents who want to start a business will find this workshop especially valuable,” Norton said.    

On-site registration is still available at the Convention Center from 8:00to 9:00Friday morning.