AERN Co-hosts Workshops in Centreville and Fayette
AERN joined with its partners in September to co-host workshops on Website Design and Marketing for area businesses. On September 25th, AERN Director Mary Patterson traveled to Centreville to assist the Bibb County Chamber of Commerce and its Director, Tracey Mitchell, in bringing website consultant Amy Strickland to speak to area business owners on website creation. Ms. Mitchell welcomed the audience and thanked the Bibb County Board of Education for providing the venue. The same workshop was provided to entrepreneurs in Fayette on September 26 at Bevill State Community College's campus with C3 of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance hosting in collaboration with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce. Both of these organizations are partners with AERN and assist with economic development in Fayette and Marion Counties. David Thornell, President of C3, and Anne Hamner, Director of the Fayette Chamber, introduced April Bushhorn to the group and explained that she would be taking Ms. Hamner's position upon her retirement in October. Amy Strickland, a graduate of The University of Alabama, conducted the workshops providing hands-on guidance to business owners on creating a business website using Weebly. Entrepreneurs worked on laptops and provided the content and digital pictures of their businesses, while Ms. Strickland and Ms. Patterson instructed the participants on domain names, how to create pages, add text, images and videos, add forms, conduct e-commerce and publish their websites. Additionally, Ms. Strickland shared insights on creating a Paypal account and tips on shipping and customer service that had worked well for her online shoe store. With lunch provided, the day-long seminar enabled participants to have a functional website ready to publish by the end of the day if they chose to bring business pictures and content relevant to their business. Some of the businesses represented at these workshops included a funeral home, an art studio, an antique shop and a nutritional supplement company.