Community Economic Development Fund

Recorded Seminars and Presentations

Update on Small Business Assistance Programs

Since mid-March new programs have been proposed and launched. Get an update on what state and federal assistance is being made available to struggling small businesses. Presenters: -- Glendowlyn Thames, Deputy Commissioner of the CT Department of Economic & Community Development; Julio Casiano, Deputy Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration Hartford District Office; Bill Tierney, SBA Lender Relations Specialist


Emergency Planning for Local Business Leaders

A proactive business owner should be immediately implementing a new communications strategy plus 10 other strategies to help survive this COVID-19 crisis. Learn Tom Maier’s recommendations in this one-hour webinar. Tom also has arranged for small business owners to receive free access to a five-hour training course titled, “How you Survive and Thrive –Strategies for COVID-19.” That course is presented by ActionCoach CEO Brad Sugars at this link.


How to apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Many small businesses are concerned with the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the the health and stability of their business. We provide the most current information available. Presenters: -- Bill Tierney, SBA Lender Relations Specialist -- Jim Bzdyra, CEDF President & CEO

Update on March 30: The SBA turned its website over to a private contractor and changed the address to:
Elements in this webinar related to procedures have been superseded but the eligibility information remains the same. This webinar was recorded prior to the law which authorized the $10,000 EIDL advance (grant).

Update on March 27: Because of high volume causing problems, the SBA has made changes that direct users to download forms to be filed in off-line and then uploaded later, rather than completed live on the site. If you have  questions, please contact the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY) (800) 877-8339.


Preparing your Business for a Crisis


         Jean Mix

Were you unprepared for the disruptions in your business that recently occurred? Are you headed for facing the next crisis, or the next phase of this one, without a plan? Crisis management focuses on developing a problem-solving strategy for complex business issues. Don’t go into any crisis blind. This program will help you prepare an impact analysis and a strategy for your success and survival. It will help you deal with the present and the future.

Jean Mix has more than 20 years of experience in corporate training and educational services. She has served a variety of clients, customizing educational sessions to meet customer needs. Jean has customized programs with audiences from youth to corporate executives. Her areas of expertise include corporate communications, change management, negotiation skills, team building, communication coaching, and student readiness.


New CT employer mandates – what a small business owner needs to know

       Stuart Katz

Besides a higher minimum wage, the last legislative session brought two new obligations that require careful compliance by every Connecticut employer of any size – the implementation of new Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training & Notice Requirements, and the launch of the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. Attorney Stuart Katz will provide an overview of the new responsibilities small business owners face and the plans that need to be made to achieve compliance and minimize risk and expense.

Stuart M. Katz is a principal of Cohen and Wolf and chair of the firm's Litigation group. He is a member of the firm's Employment & Labor practice group, and chairs the firm's Diversity & Inclusion committee. Stuart represents employers of all sizes in defending discrimination and harassment suits and litigating restrictive covenant, breach of contract, business tort and wage claims. He has been named "Lawyer of the Year" for Employment Law (Management) (2018) and for Employment Law (Individuals) (2016) by the Best Lawyers in America, for the Stamford, Connecticut metro area. He routinely provides guidance to employers and employees regarding personnel policies, handbooks and employee discipline.


Use Instagram to create Insta-business

    Samantha Williams

Are you a business owner who is confused and frustrated about how to use Instagram to promote your operation, gain customers, and increase sales? Not quite sure how to get started? Unsure about using hashtags, going live, or using IGTV? If so, this is the webinar for you. In this session, you will learn all the tips to making your business’s Instagram account profitable.

Samantha (Sammi) Williams, is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience. She founded Sam’s Word, LLC, in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, marketing, and communication workshops. When Sammi is not providing training to other businesses, she assists businesses with content development, editing, proofreading, copywriting, and more.



Minimum wage increases: What should a business owner do?

    Tom Mazzaferro

Minimum wage will soon begin climbing in Connecticut and will escalate in stages, perhaps forever. As a business owner, have you planned your reaction? What has happened in other places across America where state minimum wages have been boosted? Do you cut your staffing? Do you raise your prices? Do you change your business concept? In this webinar, Tom Mazzaferro, CMA, will address the analysis and actions that must be conducted if you intend to consider your business prepared.

Tom is a seasoned accountant with more than 30 years of experience. He holds a designation as a Certified Management Accountant by the Institute of Management Accountants. Tom was formally chief financial officer of a financial service organization and also held financial positions with an insurance company, an electrical distributor and a retail farm supply organization. His experience includes financial reporting, taxation, budgeting and capital management. During recent years living in Connecticut, Tom was a volunteer for the New Haven chapter of SCORE.



How to Improve your Work/Life/Money Balance

Jenny DeRosa Bergeron

Is your schedule overwhelming you? Do you feel drained by your work and outside obligations? Is the stress impacting your relationships and your enjoyment of your business? Thinking through the interaction between these key elements of life will help you maintain sufficient energy to tackle all of your challenges and remain focused and committed. Learn the seven strategies and three essential habits to get you to on track.

Jenny DeRosa Bergeron is the founding member of Athene Wealth Management. Jenny specializes in pre- and post-retirement planning, education planning, employee retirement plans, and insurance strategies. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with her Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College, Jenny obtained her Series 7 and 66 securities as plus her health, accident, and long-term care insurance licenses. Jenny has won more than 10 awards in her 18 years of industry experience.



Antes de Empezar su Negocio

Si está pensando en comenzar su propio negocio, escuche a expertos profesionales que le informarán sobre conceptos importantes antes de seguir adelante. Ahorre tiempo y dinero al incluir este conocimiento en sus planes.



How to Coach your Employees Without Causing them to Quit

Jean Mix

Powerpoint slides for this presentation.

Are you not seeing results from your efforts in employee development or performance improvement activities? Do you lack a formalized coaching strategy for yourself, your company or your supervisors to provide feedback and measurement on employee performance? Learn how to develop a coaching environment that gets results without creating employee anxiety and discord. Jean Mix, founder of Mix Education Services LLC, will teach you specific managerial techniques to coach employees so you can achieve optimal performance.



How to Collect Business Debts

       David Dobin

Maximizing cash flow and ensuring efficient operations is crucial to the success of every business, and every business owner inevitably faces the question of what to do when a customer, client or contractor fails to pay or fails to perform its contractual obligations. This seminar will introduce the basic concepts of liability enforcement, and provide information, strategies and tips for using the legal system to recover what’s owed to your business, including recommended contract provisions, informal attempts to resolve disputes, lawsuits, judgments, and settlements.

David Dobin is a principal of Cohen and Wolf, P.C. and represents individuals, businesses and condominium associations in a variety of litigation matters, including debt collection actions, trademark disputes, foreclosure defense and prosecution, contract disputes, business tort claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, mechanic’s lien foreclosures, eviction actions, premises liability matters and other various complex commercial litigation matters.



Social Media Integration Tools to Increase Productivity

   Samantha Williams


Everyone knows businesses must have a consistent presence on social media to remain competitive. However, business owners are too busy actually running their businesses to devote hours a day to manage their social media pages. This is why you need social media integration and productivity tools to assist you in creating, scheduling, and posting content to your business’s social media pages.

Samantha (Sammi) Williams, is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience.She founded Sam’s Word, LLC, in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, marketing, and communication workshops.





Maximum Crowdfunding: The Complete Guide to Raising Capital for Your Business

   Anthony Price


Businesses are leveraging crowdfunding to raise tens of thousands and even millions of dollars. This webinar covers the basics of running a campaign. Anthony Price, founder and CEO of LootScout, counsels small businesses owners on how to build better businesses. He is the author of Get the Loot and Run.





How to Buy a Building


Dreaming of freeing your business from an unaffordable rent or an unresponsive landlord? Buying a building with a commercial mortgage is very different experience than a residential real estate transaction. Learn what’s involved so you can prepare.



Women's Business Success: Overcoming Challenges in a Management Role


Panel discussion from Women's Business Success: Overcoming Challenges in a Management Role, June 12 2019, Hartford, CT. Panelists: Sharon Castelli, Carol Kardas, Devon Scanlon, Dawn Reshen-Doty. Moderator: Jean Mix.




Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

The job market has changed, as have the demographics of the current workforce. Employees can afford to be selective in today’s environment, making it harder to fill positions and more important than ever to retain valuable talent. Millennials now represent more than 35% of the workforce and companies cannot afford to ignore the changes in mindset this generation brings. This presentation explores these adjustments and some of the ways successful companies are adapting to a new landscape. Presenters: John Adinolfi, Director of Sales, ADP




Create contract-winning capability statements

Sammi Williams

Every year, the federal government spends billions of dollars funding contracts. States and municipalities also have millions of dollars available to hire firms for a variety of projects, products, and services. Although competing with other companies to win contracts may sound overwhelming, an expertly designed capability statement can significantly improve your potential for success. The capability statement is your vehicle to winning sought-after government contracts, but it has to be structured appropriately. Learn which information must be on your capability statement, what to leave off, and how to position your business for success in the federal, state and municipal marketplace. Capability statements also can improve marketing efforts to corporations and private enterprises.

Samantha (Sammi) Williams, is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience.She founded Sam’s Word, LLC, in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, marketing, and communication workshops. When Sammi is not providing training to other businesses, she assists businesses with content development, editing, proofreading, copywriting, and more. Sammi earned a Master’s in Health Care Administration from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration / Human Resource Management from York College – CUNY. Sammi is also trained in quality assurance and analysis, and is certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt.




Marketing foundations for new and established businesses

Rich Laria

Are you’re unsure if your business really has an effective marketing plan? Do you feel like you just engage in a series of trial and error attempts to find what might work? Has the spaghetti not been sticking to the wall lately? Are you ready to surrender to the reality that you need some expert direction to lay proper plans? Rich Laria has been both a marketing practitioner in his own businesses and a college professor of marketing. He will help you:

  • Appreciate that a marketing plan is centered on the customer.
  • Understand basics of competitive strategy/analysis.
  • Understand ways to conduct low-cost customer validation and market research.
  • Understand how to evaluate an industry.

If you think all of these elements are self-evident and the only facts and data you have are swimming around in your head somewhere, then Rich can teach you a more effective way.

Richard Laria spent 30 years in higher education, both in administration and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels in management and marketing disciplines. For 22 years he was involved in health care sales and marketing, including ten years as an entrepreneur. when owned and operated a medical equipment business on Long Island specializing in rehabilitation products while actively serving in the US Army Reserve. Rich retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of service with the Army Reserve Medical Services Corps, serving his last four years as a certified instructor for an Army Reserve School. He currently serves as a volunteer counselor for the Veterans Business Outreach Center, a partner organization of the Small Business Administration.





Managing conflict in your workplace

Jean Mix

The most important and hardest element of a small business owner's role is handling people. But building a harmonious team requires careful attention to the staff as well as polishing your own management skills.

Do you waste valuable hours dealing with workplace conflict? Do you find yourself attending to the same silly problems over and over again because the issues never get resolved? In this introduction to conflict management in the workplace and beyond you'll learn how to more productively and confidently respond.

Jean Mix of Mix Education Services LLC. will teach you specific managerial techniques to deal with conflict so you can achieve optimal performance. You will leave the session fully understanding the Conflict Resolution Model, so that you can implement it when conflict occurs, and have better business results.

Powerpoint slides for this presentation.



Building relationships with journalists to promote your business

Lee Howard

Almost every small business owner would love to have their operation featured in the local newspaper. Lee Howard, award winning journalist for The Day, will help you learn:

  • What kind of story is likely to attract media interest.
  • How to make an effective pitch for your idea.
  • The proper use of news releases and other avenues of communication.
  • How to become a valuable source for a reporter interested in your industry.

Lee Howard, community editor of The Day in New London, currently runs eight weekly newspapers in southeastern Connecticut. In addition, for more than 25 years he was an editor and columnist for The Day, which has been honored as New England Daily Newspaper of the Year in its circulation category six times in the past decade. As a business writer in 2009, he earned the most prestigious prize in Connecticut journalism by taking home the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting. He also has earned top prizes in business writing, column writing, breaking news and page one layout, among others. His reporting has been cited in at least three books, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Hedrick Smith’s 2012 bestseller “Who Stole the American Dream,” which pointed to Howard’s reporting on outsourcing tied to H1-B visas.



Use LinkedIn to make things happen for your B2B enterprise

Sammi Williams

As a small business owner or solopreneur, leveraging social media to market your business and identify leads is essential. LinkedIn is considered to be the primary social media platform for B2B connections, with over 500 million global users. This workshop will provide you with the best practices to incorporate into your social media strategy to guarantee success with LinkedIn.

Samantha (Sammi) Williams, is a content strategist with over twenty years of writing experience. As a LinkedIn power user, Sammi has helped small business owners and solopreneurs apply best practices in the use of this important social media platform to achieve the same successful results she has accomplished in her own business.  

She founded Sam’s Word, LLC, in 2015, with the goal of alleviating the writing burden of others. Writing has been a natural passion for Sammi, and she leverages those skills through the facilitation of business development, marketing, and communication workshops.

Powerpoint slides for this presentation.



Tax changes impacting CT small business owners

Ed Muenzner

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 and related changes enacted by the Connecticut Legislature have shaken up the game for small business owners. Listen in to this expert briefing to learn what to ask your tax advisor to be sure you are on top of the most important relevant changes. Presenter for this August 2018 teleconference is Ed Muenzner, CPA, Franklin, CT




Save money by understanding the unemployment compensation system

Josh Goodman

It’s tough enough being a small business owner trying to maintain a productive workforce. It can feel like the deck is stacked against you when squaring off against the rules in the unemployment compensation system.

The instructor for this July 2018 seminar is Josh Goodman, President, Pinnacle Unemployment Services and Consulting.

Slides for the seminar may be downloaded here.



Commercial lease renewal dos & don’ts for tenants

Building on the article published in the January 2018 edition of CEDF’s Chalkboard newsletter, Jeff Grandfield,  consultant from The Lease Coach, reviewed the key approaches and tactics for renewal and new space negotiations. podcasts featuring CEDF clients

How to deal with difficult employees

The team came to the CEDF offices in Meriden to allow CEDF clients and Murtha Cullina employment consul Mike Harrington to discuss the topic of how to deal with difficult employees. The first half of the podcast is an interview with Mike, followed by a question-and-answer session where these business owners asked Mike for answers regarding their own employment issues.





Not sure which loan or educational service meets your need?

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