HomeArkansas newsArkansas Business Navigator events to boost business owners' knowledge

Arkansas Business Navigator events to boost business owners’ knowledge

Little Rock, Arkansas – For entrepreneurs looking to amplify their brands and make informed decisions on hiring, the Cooperative Extension Service is stepping up to the plate with two Arkansas Business Navigator events scheduled for Oct. 25 and Nov. 7.

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The Cooperative Extension Service, an integral component of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is set to join hands with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. Together, they’re orchestrating a virtual event shedding light on the “Arkansas Grown, Arkansas Made and Homegrown by Heroes branding programs.” This digital rendezvous, hosted via Zoom, will be helmed by Karen Reynolds, the grants and program manager for the Department of Agriculture. Reynolds will delve into how these initiatives amplify the visibility of Arkansas’ vibrant community of farmers, ranchers, producers, and their bespoke products in the consumer market. Eager participants can block their slots for this enlightening session, scheduled from “12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. on Oct. 25,” by registering at here.

Brandon L. Mathews, an extension program associate renowned for his expertise in economic development within the Division of Agriculture, underscores the significance of these branding programs for Arkansas producers. In his words, “These programs provide the infrastructure and marketing channels to connect business owners’ brands to consumers, without needing to know how all of the back-end processes work.” According to Mathews, these complimentary schemes bolster consumer faith in the showcased brands and products. “Leveraging the branding from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture helps boost consumer confidence… This gives you more legitimacy, which is often difficult to establish on your own.”

Switching gears to the event on “Nov. 7”, the Cooperative Extension Service is gearing up for a hybrid gathering pivoting around employee hiring. Glenda Caton, the brains behind Caton Consulting, LLC, will share her insights on various facets, including the distinction between contract workers and employees, compensation structures, benefits, and disciplinary protocols. This day-long event will be hosted at the “Little Rock State Office at 2301 S. University Ave” and simultaneously on Zoom from “9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.” To partake in-person and enjoy lunch, interested individuals need to register by “Oct. 30” here.

Mathews vouches for the merits of Caton’s workshop, stressing the pivotal role it plays in guiding entrepreneurs on their hiring journey. He emphasizes, “Making the first hire can be one of the most difficult decisions to make… Glenda is brilliant at explaining employer responsibilities in a way that anyone can understand.”

Concluding with some background, the Cooperative Extension Service serves as the outreach pillar of the Division of Agriculture. The Arkansas Business Navigator program is a brainchild of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center and operates under the aegis of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. It flourishes with the backing of a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Olivia Martinez

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