From the Director’s Desk – National Veterans Small Business Week

By: Mark S. Hayward

Hayward was appointed Rhode Island District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration in March of 2000. Since that time he has served, on several occasions, as acting New England Regional Administrator as well as being appointed Senior Advisor to the 25th Administrator of the SBA, Linda McMahon.

November doesn’t only bring with it brisk winds and foliage, it brings the fifth annual National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW). Observed from November 5 – 9, NVSBW allows the SBA to honor those veteran small business owners who have displayed excellence in entrepreneurship. In Rhode Island, the SBA will be hosting a myriad of free small business workshops and events to further educate the veteran small business community. These workshops will include:

Monday, November 5
Understanding Your Financial Statements
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI, 10:00am to 12:00pm

The numbers tell a story, and you need to be able to read it. Being able to understand what the numbers in your cash flow statement, and on your balance sheet are telling you is a critical component to understanding just how financially healthy your small business is. Participants will learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to deciphering what your financial statements are really telling you about your business.

Grow Your Book of Business: The three areas you MUST focus on to get more business
Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, 6 Blackstone Valley Pl, Suite 402, Lincoln RI, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

In today’s competitive business world, business people are competing both with local and non-local businesses for a share of the market. Additionally, there are too many events to go to, too many things to do and too many ways to spend on marketing and sales initiatives. Given these circumstances, what is a small business person to do with their limited time and resources? Join SCORE counselor and marketing consultant Bob Salvas as he discusses the three business development areas that EVERY business should pay attention to if growth and long-term success are their goals.

Tuesday, November 6
Steps to Starting a Small Business
Millrace Event Center, 40 South Main St, Woonsocket RI, 10:00am to 11:30am

If you are considering starting a business or in the early stages of launching one, this workshop will outline everything you need to know.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Develop your business idea and planning
  • Review the importance of a business plan
  • Gain an understanding of the process and requirements for starting a business, including;
  • Legal structures
  • How to choose and register a business name and entity
  • How to obtain an employer identification number, licenses, permits and insurance
  • Determining your financing needs
  • Understanding employer responsibilities
  • Learn about available resources and training

You will leave the session with an A-to-Z overview, and specific tools and tips that will help you get started quickly.

How to Finance Your Small Business: Learn From the Experts
West Warwick Library, 1043 Main St, West Warwick RI, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Are you looking for ways to raise capital to start or grow your small business? Not entirely sure what options are there? Join us and our expert panel and hear all about the numerous programs available to help you get the access to the capital you need to succeed!

The panel will include: local SBA lenders, micro lenders, Certified Development Companies (CDC) and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI).

Come learn how these local entities and others can help you and get all of your questions answered!

Wednesday, November 7
Markets & Your Competitive Space
Portsmouth Free Public Library, 2658 E Main Rd, Portsmouth RI, 9:30am to 11:00am

Understanding where your customers are and how your small business fits into the market are extremely vital components of running a successful company. The “if you build it, they will come” mentality does not necessarily apply to small business, so learning how to do quality market research, industry and market analysis and forming a solid competitive strategy is a must!

Join our experts as they help show you how to do effective market research and ensure your business is able to maximize your reach to your customers.

Power of Networking

Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, 6 Blackstone Valley Pl, Suite 402, Lincoln RI, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

You understand that networking can grow your business and you have gotten over your shyness. Now what? Networking is not just about showing up at events (though that is part of it). What you do when you are there and after you leave is where the rubber hits the road. If you need to take your networking to the next level, come to this seminar presented by long-time networker and SCORE counselor Bob Salvas. Bob will give you tools and ideas that will make your networking more successful and more profitable.

Analyzing Your Competition
East Providence Public Library, 41 Grove Ave, East Providence RI, 2:00pm to 4:00pm

No matter what type of business you own or want to start, there is always going to be competitors out there. Understanding who they are, what they do right and wrong, and how you can differentiate yourself in a positive manner will only help you build a much stronger business.

Join our experts and let them show you how you can find out who your competition is, what they are doing, and how to use the information you find about them to your advantage.



Thursday, November 8

Government Contracting 101
RI PTAC, 315 Iron Horse Way, Providence RI, 8:00am to 10:00am

Did you know that the United States Government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world every year? Each year, the government spends over $500 million on everything from paperclips to daycare services to Virginia class submarines. So why is this important to you? Because 23% of that $500 million is required to go to small businesses just like yours!

Join us as the SBA and Rhode Island Procurement Technical Assistance Center (RIPTAC) show how you can get started on the road to making the government your next customer!


Doing Business with Primes
Warwick Public Library, 600 Sandy Ln, Warwick RI, 2:30pm to 4:00pm

Have you ever wanted to become a sub-contractor/vendor for some of the biggest prime contractors in the country? Did you know that many of them are either headquartered or have large facilities right here in Rhode Island as well as nearby Connecticut and Massachusetts?

Join us for this interactive Q&A session with panelists from General Dynamics Electric Boat, Sikorsky and Colt’s Manufacturing Company as they explain what you need to do to work with them on some of the biggest contracts in the world! Bring your questions as our expert panelists are here to answer them and help you do business with them!


Friday, November 9

The Business Planning Process
North Kingstown Free Library, 100 Boone St, North Kingstown RI, 9:30am to 11:30am


“If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will lead you there.” In this workshop we’ll discuss the importance of the business planning process both as a way of promoting your business to others as well as creating a roadmap for your success. Specific topics will include the business plan, the business model canvas, and the pitch deck.


To register for any of the above workshops please contact Katie Gosselin at (401) 528-4585, or

For more information visit

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