Bradley University looking to help local small business owners through workshop

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Small business owners across the country are adapting and changing their business models, in order to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One way they’re doing it is by increasing online sales, while in person shopping is limited.

“With COVID, retail has really been affected, not only were they shut down as non-essential in many cases, but even those that have reopened, the number of people coming is just not where it’s at,” said James Foley, Director of The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University.

The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University is hoping to help shop owners at a free online workshop this Tuesday.

Bradley students will help give advice and help owners create a website or make their online presence better.

“We’re gonna talk about a tool that we have, that the students will use when they meet with the retail store owners, they’ll look at their current capabilities, the tool then offers suggestions of the next step they should take to strengthen their e-commerce strategy,” said Foley.

Samm Hutchison, the owner of Bear’s Bites in Peoria, plans to attend the workshop. She’s hoping to improve her website so more people can use it to shop.

“I have my website, I’ve had it since I started my business almost three years now, but really it’s learning how to promote it, how to sell actively through the website,” said Hutchison.

She wants to learn tips and tricks to boost her sales for years to come.

“I’m just hoping that the knowledge I gain from the seminar on Tuesday, I can just continue to grow my sales, even just 5 years down the road, any knowledge I can get I just want to grow the sales from my website,” said Hutchison.

60 businesses have already signed up for the workshop, but it will be recorded for those who cannot attend Tuesday.

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