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Alton Main Street offers free seminars on small business ‘hot topics’

Alton Main Street is announcing upcoming free training, both in-person and virtual, continuing its Small Business Hot Topics educational series for business owners and entrepreneurs.

An in-person training on “Finding Customers for Your Small Business” will be held on Tuesday, April 12, at 6 p.m. at Post Commons, located at 300 Alby St. in Alton, in its lower-level co-working space called GroundWorks. This session will focus on helping small-business owners and budding entrepreneurs test and refine new approaches to generate revenue, and explore opportunities for new programs, products, and services. Presenter Alice Layton is a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a social entrepreneur herself.

A session on “Accepting Secure Payments” will take place on Tuesday, April 19, at 6 p.m. held virtually on an online webinar platform. Discussion will focus on merchant payment options. Presenter Nancy Pulizos, a 43-year financial industry veteran, partnered with an industry associate from CLOVER, will lead attendees through options that are available in the small-business space today.

Alton-based business owners can also sign up for two complementary one-on-one sessions with a marketing expert at their place of business. Registrants will receive one hour to discuss strategy, followed by one hour to review their tactical implementation plan for the coming year. Presenter Jacqueline Duty of Beyond Creative Marketing will teach small-business owners to invest their time and money wisely in traditional, social and digital marketing spaces.

To register, and find video recordings of past sessions on “Access to Capital” and “Starting or Improving Your Online Presence”, please visit:

“Alton Main Street is excited to be collaborating with State of Illinois Community Navigator program to provide educational training for small businesses,” says Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, adding “To ensure that we present information that is relevant to the needs of small-business owners, please contact our office to let us know which topics are of interest to you.”

Alton Main Street and its partners are available to help entrepreneurs and small businesses navigate any obstacles they may face.

“Our goal is to provide guidance, resources and information.” said Penny Schmidt who serves on the Economic Vitality Committee for Alton Main Street, “Providing entrepreneurs and creatives with access to this high-quality expertise enables them, and Alton, to flourish.”

Alton is fertile ground for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.  To find a newly updated Guide to Starting a New Business in Alton along with other resources to assist those who are looking to launch a company in Alton, please visit, and select “Doing Business.”

For many communities like Alton, fostering startups and small business growth has been the key to transitioning from a formerly manufacturing-based economy. The concept of fostering entrepreneurship to accelerate urban revitalization has been embraced by a wide spectrum of supporters, from artists and cultural organizations to business leaders and financial institutions.

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