Burnsville Mayor Kautz Hosts First Ever Partner America Event in Minnesota
By Kathryn Kretschmer-Weyland
August 4, 2003
On July 23, approximately 100 Burnsville small business owners attended the Partner America Small Business Conference hosted by Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce. The half-day event focused on improving profits, expanding business growth and strengthening relations with the local, state and federal government.
Jim Marchessault, Board Chair of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, welcomed all in attendance and highlighted his role as a member of the Chamber Board, as well as President and CEO of Business Card Services. He discussed working with government agencies, including taking advantage of two SBA Loans to help grow his business.
Kautz then greeted all attendees and shared her experience as a former small business owner and discussed why small business is so important saying, "Our small businesses are vital to our continuing economic success."
Before introducing keynote speaker Senior Vice President of American Management Services Inc Louis Mosca, Kautz discussed why she decided to host a Partner America event. "At one time in my life, I walked in your shoes as a small business owner and wished I had help, and when this program became available through The U.S. Conference of Mayors, I had to bring it to Burnsville to benefit you, our small businesses."
Mosca asked the attendees if they know what it means to make money in 2003 and discussed what he learned as a former small business owner. He then highlighted the issues small business owners face today and listed several tools for profitability, including knowing your customers and researching government opportunities. "don't let, profit challenges become profit excuses," Mosca advised.
Kautz then led a lively and interactive discussion with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Export Assistance Center, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Attendees were able to hear about the various programs each agency offers to small businesses and were given tips to work more effectively with the federal government.
Following this discussion, representatives from the Economic Development Office and the Office of Business Finance reviewed locally based programs and opportunities. Judy Tschumper, Burnsville's Economic Development Director, provided an overview of Burnsville's current and upcoming initiatives for small business growth and prosperity.
At the end of the session, the floor was opened and attendees asked questions specific to their business needs.
"There are 32,000 jobs in Burnsville that are directly attributable to our small businesses," commented Kautz. "Their success is vital to quality of life for our entire community and we are pleased to be able to bring together these tremendous resources to aid and assist our small businesses."
Partner America is a public/private partnership between The U.S. Conference of Mayors and American Management Services Inc. If you are interested in hosting a Partner America event or if you would like more information, please contact Jeff Bean, Managing Director, at 781-487'0461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.