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This webinar series provides practical information on key topics in disaster preparedness and economic recovery for economic development organizations and chambers of commerce. Each seminar hosts economic recovery practitioners with real world experience and leadership in the subject matter. Each seminar will feature efforts made in disaster-impacted communities. Attend these interactive sessions to learn how your organization can be better equipped to handle a major disruption - whether caused by nature or manmade events.

With funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the 2017 Disaster Preparedness and Economic Recovery Webinar Series is produced by IEDC. This training series provides practical information on key topics in disaster preparedness, recovery and resiliency for economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, and community stakeholders. The views and statements expressed in these webinars are those of IEDC and presenters, and do not necessarily reflect the views of EDA.

Please note: Web seminars in this series are not eligible for CEcD recertification points.



Putting the Pieces Back Together - Creative Financing for Small Businesses Post-Disaster

Date: Tuesday, April 18
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

In the wake of a disaster, small businesses often are more financially vulnerable than large businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of local economies, providing essential goods and services such as groceries, fuel, childcare, and healthcare. It is important, therefore, that economic development organizations plan to provide additional assistance to small businesses following a disaster - particularly to address cash flow and capital shortfalls. Join IEDC as this webinar explores the many financing avenues post-disaster to assist small businesses.

Attend this to access:

• Tips and strategies you can emulate in your community to financially assist small businesses
• Techniques from professionals who have experienced the struggles of a disaster
• Avenues of financing beyond the typical post-disaster funding




Jeffrey Sjostrom
Galveston Economic Development Partnership
Galveston, TX
Full bio


Lynnette White-Colin
Director, Small Business Initiatives
New Orleans Business Alliance
Full bio


Bolstering Your Economy with Tourism

Date: Thursday, May 11
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Many small and rural communities have attractions of historic, cultural, or natural significance, but no real foot traffic visiting them. Developing a stronger tourism program - through business and product development, plus creative packaging and marketing - can increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, as well as enhance your region's visibility and image. Join IEDC as we explore rural tourism development and how it can benefit your local economy.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• Ways that tourism development can be used to build your economy
• Strategies to implement in the short, medium, and long-term
• How other communities have capitalized on existing assets to grow tourism opportunities



Making the Permitting Process for Recovery and Resilience Better and Faster

Date: Thursday, May 25
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

After a disaster, your local permitting process can become overwhelmed with an influx of businesses trying to rebuild. Permitting for businesses to grow and rebuild after a disaster can be an issue overlooked until a disruption occurs. Streamlining the process before an event occurs can not only help your businesses recover more quickly post-disaster, but also help businesses establish more quickly when not in a disaster. Join IEDC and presenters as they discuss strategies and tips from real-world examples of how to expedite and streamline the permitting process.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• How the permitting process can impact your economic recovery.
• Strategies for expediting and streamlining the permitting process.
• Tips on what to do now before a disruption occurs.



Building Small Communities' Economic Resilience through Marketing and Business Recruitment

Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Are your rural region's strengths being marketed effectively for business recruitment? Attracting new businesses is a key element of many communities' economic development programs, but there are more and less effective ways to go about it. No matter the size of your staff, budget or community, strategies exist that can be implemented to either bolster or begin effective business recruitment. Join IEDC to learn how to grow your rural economy through impactful community marketing.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• Proven tips and strategies for community marketing and business recruitment
• How to maximize your time and resources in marketing and recruitment
• Ideas and examples of successful recruitment from small communities



Staying on the Ready: Strategies for Communities Welcoming Evacuees

Date: Thursday, July 20
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

A storm is a brewing and communities in nearby jurisdictions are being evacuated. Being along the evacuation route often means the relocation of evacuees to your community. Depending on the damages faced by the evacuated communities, your community and local businesses can be responsible for providing support services to these evacuees for an undefined period of time. Join us in July to learn strategies on how to best support evacuees while addressing the needs of the community's citizens.

Attend this webinar to learn:

• The ways a community can support evacuees
• Strategies to balance the needs of the business community with those of the evacuees
• Integrate long-term evacuees into the community



What's Cooking? Niche Food Businesses, That's What!

Date: Thursday, July 27
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Niche foods are trending. Why? Because American palates are becoming more adventurous and demanding, leading to new business opportunities for farmers, gardeners, home cooks, bakers and others. Yet budding niche food entrepreneurs need help figuring out how to turn their hobbies into businesses. Helping them start and grow a profitable business operation enables them to serve the local community, export beyond the region, provide jobs, generate wealth and increase the overall quality of life. Discover how your community can leverage all the benefits that come along with niche foods.

Again a plateful of information about:

• How to assess your community's potential to support a food industry cluster
• Essential elements of programs geared toward supporting food entrepreneurs
• How to other communities' successes can inform your own strategies



Leveraging Transportation Routes for New Opportunities in Rural Areas

Date: Tuesday, August 15
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

The ability to move goods and people in, out and around a community is a key ingredient of its economic success. Highways, rail lines, airports and ports are assets frequently examined by firms looking for new locations to establish operations. How can your region best enhance, market and leverage these critical connections to available land, workers and suppliers? This webinar will examine how to get the most out of your transportation assets to grow your industrial base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Effectively market transportation assets to business location consultants and corporate real estate directors
• Develop and connect your community's narrative around workforce, land and regional assets to transportation networks
• Capture opportunities around new transportation routes, trends and technologies



Reinvigorating Downtown: Strategies to Drive Traffic Post-Disaster

Date: Thursday, August 24
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Downtown is the heart of many communities. It is the local gathering spot, the place to shop local, and the place to be part of the community. When a disaster strikes downtown, citizens can feel disconnected or lost. Returning downtown into a thriving center of activity is an essential part of the recovery. Come along with us in August as IEDC explores the ins and outs of rebuilding post-disaster and driving traffic into impacted downtowns.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• What to consider when rebuilding downtown
• How to create an inviting atmosphere for locals and visitors to downtown
• How communities have been successful at creating a thriving downtown post-disaster



Retail Boomtowns: Creating an Atmosphere for Retail Attraction

Date: Thursday, September 14
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm ET

In a rural region, a thriving retail sector is a phenomenal asset, bringing in both people and tax revenues. Though many national retailers gravitate towards larger cities, with the right strategies, small communities also can earn their attention and investment. Discover how your community can lay the groundwork for retail attraction and creatively tell its story to gain the interest of local, regional and national firms, growing both employment opportunities and the tax base.

Attend this webinar to learn how to:

• Use data and visuals to tell your community's retail story
• Create programs to encourage local and regional retailers to open stores
• Learn how other small communities have become retail hubs and identify replicable strategies




Maria Meyers
U.S. SourceLink at the UMKC Innovation Center
Kansas City, MO

Maria Meyers is passionate about entrepreneurship and the power it has to do good—for local economies, communities and individuals.

As executive director of the University of Missouri - Kansas City Innovation Center, Maria unites academic, government, corporate and nonprofit groups to create environments where entrepreneurship will thrive. Working to get entrepreneurs the right resource at the right time, Maria founded KCSourceLink, a strong network of 230+ business building organizations in the Kansas City region, and SourceLink, a resource network that spans the United States and beyond through its affiliate communities. She also created Digital Sandbox KC, a proof-of-concept program for digital technologies and Whiteboard2Boardroom, a system that matches technologies from research institutions with entrepreneurs who can move them toward commercialization.

Recognized for her commitment to building entrepreneurial communities, she received the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration Excellence in Economic Development award in 2007 and was presented the Missouri Women's Council Award of Distinction by the governor of Missouri in 2013. For the past three years, she has been named one of Kansas City's 100 most powerful people. Maria enjoys speaking at national and international conferences to inspire others to support entrepreneurship as an essential economic development strategy.

Erik Pages
EntreWorks Consulting
Arlington, VA

Erik R. Pages is President and Founder of EntreWorks Consulting (www.entreworks.net), an economic development consulting and policy development firm focused on helping communities and organizations achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Since its founding, EntreWorks has worked with communities in more than 40 states and overseas.

He previously served as Policy Director for the National Commission on Entrepreneurship (NCOE). Dr. Pages has also held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration and on Capitol Hill. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and serves on the Arlington County (VA) Economic Development Commission, and as Vice Chair of the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Network and on the Advisory Board for Virginia's Small Business Development Network. He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and also holds degrees from Dickinson College (Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey Sjostrom
Galveston Economic Development Partnership
Galveston, TX

Jeffrey is the founding President of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership (GEDP). The GEDP is a public/private partnership focused on the expansion of Galveston’s employment and tax bases. The GEDP was formed in 1999. Since formation the GEDP has facilitated a myriad of projects including maritime, emerging technology, tourism, housing, infill redevelopment, information services and a host of other activities.

Since 2005 (Hurricane Katrina) and in conjunction with the City of Galveston, Sjostrom has gained a unique insight into the arena of disaster planning and business recovery. Through the GEDP, over $100 Million in business recovery resources were implemented within Galveston resulting from Hurricane Ike (2008). Sjostrom participates in local, regional, state-wide and national initiatives focusing on transferring lessons learned and seeking additional improvements to the area of continuity planning and disaster recovery.

Prior to joining the GEDP Jeffrey coordinated a 13-county economic development program for the Houston-Galveston Area Council. In this capacity Sjostrom was responsible for public financing tools and resources to support the region’s economic growth. Jeffrey began his economic development career in Texas with the City of Palacios in 1988. Rural development was the primary goal for this small coastal community. In this capacity projects included aquaculture, tech-prep workforce training, manufacturing and real estate development.

During these 29 years of service in the field of economic development, Sjostrom participates on a wide variety of commissions and organizations dedicated to community and economic development.

Lynnette White-Colin
Small Business Initiatives

Ms. White-Colin is the Director of Small Business Initiatives at the New Orleans Business Alliance, a public-private partnership between the City of New Orleans and its business community; Ms. White-Colin directs diverse activities promoting economic inclusion, to facilitate enhanced opportunities, sustainability and growth for small businesses, with significant emphasis on minority- and women-owned ventures. Lynnette forges relationships within the community of local anchor institutions, corporations, public entities, public construction projects, etc. fostering the creation and identification of procurement and contracting opportunities for target small businesses. She regularly convenes small business stakeholders to discuss strategies that lead to alleviation of barriers to growth for minority business owners; she provide custom connections between business owners and diverse technical and financial assistance providers to ensure local small businesses have both the resources and capital necessary to sustain and grow their organizations. Ms. White-Colin is involved in strategic efforts toward revitalization strategies for commercial corridors in disinvested communities throughout the city of New Orleans.

Prior to joining the New Orleans Business Alliance, Lynnette directed economic development programming at the Urban League of Louisiana, which involved directing the Women’s Business Resource and contractors Resource Centers. The two entities provided technical assistance, diverse business training and one-on-one business consulting and coaching services for emerging business owners and contractors.

Ms. White-Colin served as the Executive Director of the O. C. Haley Blvd Merchants & Business Association and Main Street Initiative, where she oversaw the revitalization of the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard commercial and cultural district which realized over $35M in development projects. Additionally, Lynnette commenced the first commercially-focused urban land trust in the country.

Formerly a Vice President with Hope-Enterprise Corporation, Ms. White-Colin served as a Regional Director of Hope Community Credit Union’s southeast operations, where she worked extensively with small and micro businesses assisting them to access financing. She directed consumer lending, deposit and retail operations and managed the branch’s socially responsible investment and philanthropic relationships, leveraging over 16 years of diverse banking experience.

Lynnette holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. She was awarded a Credit Union Executive Certification at the Community Development Credit Union Institute at Southern New Hampshire University.

Ms. Colin serves on the boards of the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the New Orleans Redevelopment Unlimited (an auxiliary of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority); the East New Orleans Business Development District; and the New Orleans Regional Business Park.


Instructions and Technology

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