nov 2

Small Business Learning Lab 2.0 and Annual Meeting & Awards

10:00AM - 5:00PM Retail Training

Small Business Learning Lab 2.0

Innovations, Challenges and Successes

Join us for a one-day gathering of small business owners, 
managers, entrepreneurs and experts featuring four educational sessions 
plus a dynamic non-traditional leaders discussion. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017
10am - 5pm
O'Maine Studios - 54 Danforth Street,  Portland, Maine 04102


Eventbrite - Small Business Learning Lab 2.0 AND Annual Meeting & Awards



9:30am: Registration


10:00am: Welcome


10:10am - 11:00am: RISE UP with Workforce Development- We’ve all heard the numbers and statistics around Maine’s aging and stagnant population in terms of growth but what are we doing about it? In this session you will hear about an exciting program the Retail Association of Maine, in partnership with the National Retail Federation, is bringing to Maine. We’ll also hear from Thomas College and other affiliates who are helping to move the needle in attracting and retaining talent, with the skill sets you need!    


11:10am - 12:00pm: Vibrant Downtowns- Maine has seen an increase in revitalized Main streets and downtowns that have become major tourist destinations. How have city officials and developers worked together to attract retailers and other businesses to their communities? Hear from Karen Brace, Community Development Director for the town of Camden and Patrick Wright the Economic & Community Development Coordinator for Gardiner, two great success stories!  Session moderated by Keith McBride of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation.


12:00pm - 1:15pm: Food Truck Lunch/Annual Meeting & Awards- Grab lunch from one of the available food trucks and we’ll get down to the business of our annual meeting as quickly as possible. This portion of the day will end with the presentation of our Retailer of the Year Award and Jim McGregor Government Service Award


1:15pm - 2:00pm:  Sources of Growth Capital- Every Business needs cash to grow. From lending to venture to non-traditional capital, where should Maine businesses turn to find those sources? Our panelists will provide insight to that question.  Moderated by Representative Marty Grohman of Biddeford. Panelists include: Nancy Strojny of SCORE; Ann Marie Swenson of Peoples United Bank; John Burns of Maine Venture Fund.


2:00pm - 2:10pm: Break


2:10pm - 3:00pm: Maintaining a CyberSmart, CyberStrong Organization- The National Cyber Security Alliance estimates 70% of attacks focus on small businesses. Downtime from attacks like ransomware and breaches where sensitive data is lost can have a devastating impact to customers, employees, brand and overall business. Learn how protecting against a potential attack goes beyond technology and incorporates multiple layers of ongoing defense. Presented by, Rob Simopoulos, Partner & Co-Founder of Launch Security.


3:00pm - 3:45pm: Retail Industry Disruptors- Topher Mallory, CEO of Mexicali Blues and Co-founder of Split Rock Distilling 


3:45pm - 5pm: Networking Reception and Meet & Greet with our partners at the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association.

*Schedule subject to change


                               THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS