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Akron area state lawmakers host local Small Business Summit

Say Summit connects small businesses to state and local resources
August 28, 2018
Tavia Galonski News

State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) and state Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) hosted a local Small Business Summit on Friday, August 24th, at Alpha Phi Alpha Homes, Inc.

“I enjoyed being able to connect with Akron’s local business owners about what they do and hope to achieve as small businesses,” said Rep. Sykes. “I encourage all local businesses, no matter what type of company you own, to take advantage of the wide range of—mostly free— state, county and city resources.”

Fifty local business owners attended to learn about programs and resources for small businesses from twelve different local and agencies. JobsOhio, the Department of Administrative Services, Development Services Agency and Huntington bank served together on an informational panel. The other seven agencies distributed literature to the attendees during breaks and networking opportunities. 

“The Small Business Summit was a great opportunity to link entrepreneurs to state agencies and available resources,” said Sen. Sykes. “We wanted to show small and minority business owners how the state can help start or expand their business. Local businesses encourage community empowerment and ownership, and I’m pleased to see Akron business owners and entrepreneurs show their initiative to be successful.”

Additionally, a focus on minority small business owners in the community was a priority throughout the Summit.

“It is our job as state lawmakers to ensure that all small businesses have fair opportunities for advancement in Ohio,” said Rep. Galonski.  “However, I believe it is also our duty as black legislators to make sure that minority business owners are being represented, heard and assisted when necessary. I look forward to continuing to uplift Akron’s minority community and businesses while serving the Statehouse.”

The day concluded with a Q&A for the panelists. This is the first time the Akron-area lawmakers held this type of event.