Existing Small Business Owners

You're busy running your business. While some assistance might be nice, it's not always obvious who to ask; and you certainly don't have time to go searching all over Austin.

Problem Solved! We went out and gathered all the assistance and resources you might be searching for and brought them together for one day to meet with you.


Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Get to know the landscape of small business support in Austin and discover the resources that can help you get started and grow a business.


Artists, Musicians and Creatives

You're a business too! Join in, we even have topics and representatives just for creatives.


Anyone with a business or a dream to start one - you won't find more help in one place at one time!


A must for Small Business Owners!

Your best chance to find the help you’ve been searching for at Austin’s largest collection of resources and support for your small business.

Join us for the BIGGEST small business event of the year featuring classes, panel sessions, one-on-one assistance and face-to-face interaction with representatives from area groups looking to help you with: business planning + funding + networking + licensing and regulation + business law + accounting + government contracting + and more!


September 25, 2014 | Palmer Events Center | Free Parking

Main Exhibit Hall Open 1:30 PM - 6:30 PM

FREE TO ATTEND | Registration Required for panels and classes




Registration required

To limit unused seats and ensure efficient use of public resources, a no-show fee will be charged to those who register but fail to attend without advanced cancellation notice. Please contact the Small Business Program by phone or email to cancel your registration at least 48 hours in advance. 512.974.7800 | sbdp@austintexas.gov

10:30 AM - 1:30 PM

The 7 Most Important Secrets of Small Business Success | FULL | Add to Waitlist

This class provides a practical template for the successful creation and operation of a small business. Whether you are a start-up still in the planning stage, or an existing business, these seven essential principles must be followed throughout your business life to achieve maximum success. They have been tried and proven over many years and will help you execute your business plan with passion and precision. $35 no-show fee

University of Texas Instructor: Michael Crane



1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Panel Discussion: Expanding Your Portfolio: Building a Sustainable Arts Career | Register

For many artists, building a sustainable life means balancing different sources of income in both the non-profit and for-profit realms. Our expert panel will talk about growing your artistic career by taking your skills outside the studio and into new markets. This seminar is designed to help emerging artists looking for new avenues to explore, as well as established artists who want to take their practice to the next level. $20 no-show fee

Panelists: Brent Hasty of mindPOP; Fred Schmidt of Bullseye Business Development; Chris Dahlquist, Professional Artist and Facilitator with Artist Inc.



2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

Business Solutions to Help Grow Your Business with Skilled Employees | Register | Watch Live Stream

What's a businesses greatest resource? It's staff. Learn about the no-cost programs and services offered to help local companies find, hire, train, and retain skilled workers. Free HR Legal Assistance on-site.  $20 no-show fee

Presenter: Leslie Puckett, Workforce Solutions; Velissa Chapa, Staff Attorney, Texas Workforce



3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Panel Discussion: Austin Event Ready Panel - Making Sense of Special Events Permitting | Register

Austin is host to an increasing number of festivals and events spurring opportunities for small businesses offering their own special events and activities during these times. Live-music, outdoor parties, temporary patios, block parties and more. This panel will help make sense of the City-required permit process and explore the role of Austin Center for Events (ACE) in assisting permit applicants for operating temporary and special events. As festival season approaches, make sure you’re fully informed and ready to make the most of the opportunities. ACE is a collaborative office anchored by teams from transportation, music, police, fire and EMS departments, as well as other departments, agencies and facilities. $20 no-show fee



3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

How to Write A Winning Government Proposal | Register | Watch Live Stream

This seminar will focus on the information vendors need to prepare a response to a governmental entity request for proposal (RFP); how RFP evaluations are structured, evaluated, tabulated, negotiated, and awarded; and tips on how to structure your response in order to maximize your opportunity to score well and obtain an award. $20 no-show fee

Presenter: Richard D. Ehlert, Director of Procurement, Texas Facilities Commission



3:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Panel Discussion: Creative Funding Options for Small Business | Register

Want to learn about non-traditional funding options for your start up or expanding business? Our panel of funding experts will discuss community lending, crowd funding, bootstrapping, and expansion loans offered by the City of Austin. Bring your questions; our experts will have answers. $20 no-show fee

Panelists: Rocio Vallejo, PeopleFund; Lance McNeill, BCL of Texas; Xavier Zarate, City of Austin Family Business Loan Program; Walter Laich, UT Instructor and Financial Planner



5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Panel Discussion: Exporting Tips for Small Businesses | Register

Exporting can be a powerful means of revenue and expansion for a small business. Discover the keys to success as an exporter and find out who can help. Highlights will include financing and counseling resources available from the government.

Why consider exporting your goods or services globally?

  • Texas companies that export generate 5 times higher revenues than non-exporting companies.
  • Exporting is an attractive way to grow your company’s customers, profits and success.
  • Foreign demand is strong, with forecasts of the world economy growing in coming years.
  • Advancements in e-Commerce and logistics have lowered the costs of doing business overseas.
  • Free trade agreements have opened up markets in Australia, Chile, Singapore, Jordan, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, creating more opportunities for U.S. businesses.
  • U.S. companies that export are able to weather downturns in the domestic economy.
  • Exporters are able to extend the sales potential of existing products and maintain productive capacity by stabilizing seasonal markets

$20 no-show fee

Panelists: Karen Parker, Director, Austin U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce; Ben Ramirez, International Economic Development Manager, City of Austin; Aixa Leath, U.S. Small Business Administration



5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Panel Discussion: Owning Your Web Presence - The Importance of Online Listings, Reviews and Social Media | Register

The increasing power of the Internet to affect your business should not be ignored. From online listings and reviews to social media, maps and more - chances are your business is all over the web. Still a staggering number of small businesses are unaware or feel unable to manage their web presence. Join experts from Yelp, Facebook and Bryn Harrington from Google to talk about WHY you should care and HOW to go about owning your web presence to make it work for you and not against you. $20 no-show fee

Panelists: Kelly Stocker of Yelp; Emily Miller of Facebook, Bryn Harrington of Google




Join us and Get Connected!

Free and open to the public from 1:30 - 6:30 PM

Stop in or spend the whole day meeting with the people and organizations who can make a difference for your small business. Representatives from over 60 groups and organizations on hand to connect with you!

Ask questions and get answers + Arrange future appointments for ongoing help + Learn more about available resources + Meet business coaches + Connect with networking groups + Learn about local regulations for business.

The main hall will feature qualified representatives from various business service providers, lending institutions, non-profit organizations and government entities with the unified goal to provide comprehensive small business assistance directly to Austin's entrepreneurs.

Got a few minutes to spare? Get Immediate Help

20 Minute One-on-One Consultations available on-site - here's a sample of what you'll find!


  • Business Coaching mini-sessions
  • Bonding
  • Health Care and Affordable Care Act for Employers
  • Small Business Legal Help
  • Business Planning
  • Financial Readiness
  • Legal and Accounting for Artists
  • And More!*


*Additional one-on-one topics and sessions will be available, to stay updated like/follow @SmallBizAustin on Facebook or Twitter and sign-up for email updates from the Small Business Program at www.SmallBizAustin.org