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




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 as well as a whole bunch you might have not thought to look 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 get you off the ground 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!


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


20 Minute One-on-One Consultations


  • Show up and register for an individualized session with a local business coach to refine your business plan’s executive summary and elevator pitch
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers more than just consumer ratings. Sit down with the BBB representative and discuss your current marketing plan including advertising, social media and general promotional practices
  • Pre-schedule with the City of Austin Bonding Financial Consultant to understand the importance of bonding and the process to obtaining it
  • Are you still confused about how your small business is affected by the Affordable Health Care Act? Get your questions answered by TXHealth on current strategies to cover yourself and/or your employees
  • Get the law on your side on your small business matters with the Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas



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 | Register

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

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. $20 no-show fee

Presenter: Leslie Puckett, Workforce Solutions



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

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 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, Google Representative