“Small Business Connections: Marketing Meets Microfinancing” Workshop Tour Comes To New Orleans

On October 10, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NYX), Accion and Yelp will bring the NYSE Big StartUp “Small Business Connections: Marketing Meets Microfinancing” nationwide workshop tour to New Orleans. The event will provide local small business owners with two resources vital to growing any business: social media marketing know-how and access to capital. New Orleans marks the eighth stop on the Small Business Connections Tour.

During the free workshop, Yelp’s Manager of Local Business Outreach, Darnell Holloway, will explain how entrepreneurs can work with major social media platforms, engage with customers online and navigate the world of online reviews.

Regional Market Manager Jarrett Woods of small business lender Accion, which has provided over 100 loans in the New Orleans region, will discuss how to access capital and finance marketing costs with an Accion microloan. Opened in 2009, Accion’s New Orleans office has distributed more than $1.4 million in loans, helping create or sustain nearly 300 area jobs. Both Yelp business outreach staff and Accion loan officers will be present to answer questions and offer personalized consultations to participants.

Additionally, local Accion client Tracia Longowski will share how her microloan of $35,000 helped grow her business by allowing her to purchase five vending machines. Tracia had the unique idea to create health-conscious vending machines that would promote healthy lifestyles and teach children good nutritional habits. She stocks her machine with low-calorie, low-fat options such as dried fruit or organic crackers. “Without Accion, we could never have moved forward with our business, “ Tracia says. “Accion was make or break for us.” Tracia will also tell event participants how she used marketing such as personal outreach, Facebook and partnerships with local community organizations, to grow her business.

“Small Business Connections” is the first small business event tour from the NYSE Big StartUp, a nationwide job creation and business growth initiative that connects small businesses with established corporations, such as Yelp. Launched in March 2012, the NYSE Big StartUp program also integrates the Accion-NYSE Job Growth Fund. This program was started with a $1.5 million commitment by NYSE Euronext, which will provide small businesses and startups with the capital and support they need to grow.

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