Flint, MI — This fall, the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance will offer a new training series aimed at helping minority-owned businesses expand their reach.

Since launching last year, more than 200 area businesses are now listed in the organization’s Business Bridge, a digital business directory designed to connect buyers with minority-owned small businesses in the city of Flint and Genesee County.

Now, the Economic Alliance wants to provide those and other local businesses additional support through its new, no-cost training series.

According to an Aug. 24 press release, the monthly training series begins Sept. 6, 2023, with “Building Brands that Sell: A Dynamic Workshop on Branding vs. Marketing.” 

The session will be led by Sandra Kelley, owner of Prestige Promotions, one of the businesses listed in the Flint & Genesee Business Bridge.

Additional sessions include Diverse Contracting Strategies on Oct. 4, Business Banking 101 on Nov. 1, and Responding to RFPs on Dec. 6.

The release notes that attendees do not need to belong to the Business Bridge to participate.

“This programming builds on the momentum of the online directory and is all about preparing minority-owned businesses to do business with larger organizations and buyers,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group. “We’ve had many buyers express interest in working with small businesses owned by individuals who are Black, Indigenous and/or a person of color (BIPOC). We’re working to bring those groups together through the Business Bridge.”

Atop the training sessions, the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance will also host the “Business Bridge Minority Business Contracting Expo” on Oct. 26.

“Our work in the DEI space is receiving national recognition, and we owe a lot of that to our partners and the businesses that participate in efforts like the Business Bridge,” said Sandra Etherly-Johnson, executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Community Relations at the Flint & Genesee Group. “We hope this inspires even more in the business community to join us in our work.”

The upcoming trainings will be held at Berston Field House in Flint, and interested entrepreneurs can register through the Flint & Genesee Group’s calendar.

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