AERN workshop offers support to businesses

Published 4:31 pm Monday, August 17, 2015

Mary Patterson of the University of Alabama’s Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network led a discussion with local business people on ways of encouraging and growing business. Additional meetings are being planned.

Mary Patterson of the University of Alabama’s Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network led a discussion with local business people on ways of encouraging and growing business. Additional meetings are being planned.

A group of local businessowners and other officials gathered Tuesday for a discussion on growing business during a workshop led by the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and the Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network. AERN Director Mary Patterson led the meeting stating that the network can provide valuable resources to local entrepreneurs, such as computers and specialized software, reference materials, and even personal assistance.
“The program has been around for 15 years and serves as a link between small business owners and a larger network of business resources,” Patterson said.
AERN is directed through the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce in partnership with agencies in rural counties.
“Partner organizations make the resources available to the public to encourage potential entrepreneurs to start a business, to expand an existing small business, or for other economic development work in the target area,” Patterson said.
Local business owners discussed a number of topics, including ways of promoting their businesses through advertising and social media. They also discussed the possibility of creating special events within the city that would lure more people and shoppers into Demopolis.
AERN also offers training, seminars and workshops. From the organization’s website, http://aern.cba.ua.edu, users can submit questions to the librarians at UA’s Angelo Bruno Business Library and find valuable business information.
“The AERN website offers many online resources that are easily accessible there and the site is designed for ease of use by the public,” Patterson said.