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What's in Store at the 2017 Independent Business Conference

22 August 2017 Published in Local First Utah Blog
What's in Store at the 2017 Independent Business Conference Design by Dave Keller

Join us on Tuesday, September 12th at the Downtown Public Library as we host the first Independent Business Conference: Building a City of Neighborhoods. 

Tickets are for the 2017 Independent Business Conference are available here.

Tickets for the Conference Only are $35 per person. 

Tickets for the Full Day Event, which include the Conference and a Mobile Neighborhood Tour of the Granary and State Street Districts, are $50. 

Here's what our day will look like:

8:00 - 8:45  - Conference Check-In/Registration, plus Breakfast Networking

9:00 - 10:00  Keynote Address "Entrepreneurship Ecosystems" with Dionne Baux, Director of Urban Programs at the National Main Street Center

Today’s revitalization efforts are defined and impacted to a greater degree than ever by shifting demographics, changes in consumer shopping and transitions within our local, regional and national economies. These changes have significant implications for the development and growth of entrepreneurs. Conference attendees will walk take away with “real‐ life” examples commercial revitalization practitioners implemented to support a robust ecosystem in support of new and growing entrepreneurs.

10:30 - 11:30 Armchair Discussion with Salt Lake City Council Member Derek Kitchen (District 4) and Salt Lake City Council Member Erin Mendenhall (District 5)

 led by Lara Fritts, Salt Lake City Economic Development Director  

11:30 - 1 pm Food Truck Round Up Lunch Break 

1:00 - 1:45 Deep Dive Breakout Session A - Choose to learn from local and national experts regarding the following topics:

"Transformation Strategies 101" presented by Dionne Baux, Director of Urban Programs at the National Main Street Center

The new Main Street model is a paradigm shift with all revitalization work organized around Transformation Strategies, and a more flexible organizational structure. After a quick tour of the model itself and the dozen newly-minted “Catalyst Strategies,” we will walk through a three-part evaluation process: Choosing Transformation Strategies, testing economic viability of those strategies and implementation of strategies with references to the Granary and State Street Districts. 

"Localnomics" presented by Kristen Lavelett, Executive Director of Local First Utah 

Independently owned businesses keep four times more money in Utah's economy than their national or online counterparts, but how? In this session we'll discuss the economic impact of locally owned businesses, highlight the"Ten Reasons for Buying Locally," and demonstrate the bottom line impact of the "buy local" movement on the businesses of Salt Lake City and Utah. You'll learn how to brand your business as locally owned, and why that type of branding increases customer loyalty and revenue. Plus, we'll discuss what it takes to become a "Neighborhood Champion" for 2017 Small Business Saturday celebrations, and other strategies to build connectivity between the businesses and residents in your community. 

"Finding a Business Mentor" presented by Scott Pynes of Cactus & Tropicals and Carol Elliott of Paletti

What if you could have an outside board of business experts to provide you with monthly advice and support for your organization? You can! Learn from established entrepreneurs Scott Pynes, of Cactus & Tropicals, and Carol Elliot, of Paletti about the value of mentorship to independent business owners, and their experiences in a variety of business endeavors. Whether you’ve just started your business, or you are an established business owner, mentorship is a vital to grow, strengthen, and sustain your business. You’ll also learn about the Vest Pocket Mentoring Roundtable, a collaborative program to assist owners and managers of locally owned, independent businesses in Utah.

Funders' Round Table

Access to adequate financing is frequently cited as the number one hurdle to the longevity of a small business. However, there are wide variety of funding options available, from traditional SBA Loans, to microloans and more, to business owners in Salt Lake City and Utah. Speak with representatives from array of funding sources to learn more about what financing options are available for your small business needs. 

2:00 to 2:45 pm Deep Dive Breakout Session B - Catch a presentation by one of our experts that you didn't get a chance to hear during Breakout Session A, all of our speakers and panelists

    will be available again during Breakout Session B.

"Transformation Strategies 101" presented by Dionne Baux, Director of Urban Programs at the National Main Street Center

"Localnomics" presented by Kristen Lavelett, Executive Director of Local First Utah  

"Finding a Business Mentor" presented by Scott Pynes of Cactus & Tropicals and Carol Elliott of Paletti

Funders' Round Table

Official conference programming concludes at 3 pm, but we encourage attendees to dig deeper into the State Street and Granary Business Districts, while solidfying connections with other independent business owners during our Mobile Neighborhood Tour experience. Plus, we'll have a post-tour happy hour at Fisher Brewery in the Granary District! 

If you have questions, or would like to be a vendor at the conference, please e-mail