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SBTDC to co-sponsor NEA creative conference Oct. 14-15

October 13, 2010 -- Arkansas State University’s Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development are jointly supporting a two-day regional conference, Thursday and Friday, October 14-15 at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville. The conference is designed to support and grow small businesses in the northeast and north-central regions of the state. 

Entitled the "2010 Northeast Arkansas Business, Education and Creative Economy Conference:  Sharpening Your Competitive Edge," the event will bring together more than 20 private sector, state, federal and nonprofit organizations with the singular mission of equipping small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills and resources needed to start or expand their businesses.

Topics will include but not be limited to building effective partnerships, understanding the keys to marketing and sales, understanding Arkansas's business climate, unlocking the purchasing process and exploring the creative economy.

Day one will begin at 3:30 p.m. and is comprised of a half-day of presentations focusing on the creative economy.  Day one will be centered on the presentation of key findings from a series of studies supported by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation that looked into the contributions of those involved in this segment of the economy.  Presentations will highlight successes in this segment of the economy and include information on how to prepare, expand and help this vital segment of the economy gain more attention.  A networking reception featuring a live performance will follow this event and will be held at the Holiday Inn in Blytheville from 7:00-10:00pm.

Day two will focus on the nuts and bolts of the small business development process and will formally begin at 8:00am with a breakfast roundtable featuring bankers and small business lenders.  Small business owners will get the opportunity to meet and interact with representatives who can professionally discuss the whole range of financing options. Attendees will also receive the latest available information about Arkansas's business climate and expanding industries, which undoubtedly will be helpful in guiding small business decisions.  A series of speakers will provide information on the topics previously listed above and three small businesses will be highlighted through personal presentations during the luncheon.

All aspects of the conference are free but registration is encouraged. You may register on-line at or call 870-972-3517.  You may also email .

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