Regions Bank, SBDC to Bring More Small-Business Support to Southeast Missouri

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The Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) and Regions Bank today announced a community partnership to bring additional business workshops to regional entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

While support for small businesses has always been important to both organizations, the enhanced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic have escalated the importance and relevance of initiatives lending support to local entrepreneurs. The joint effort from the Missouri SBDC and Regions Bank will focus on increasing business support to foster sustainable growth and entrepreneurial activities.

Specifically, a series of business workshops will be hosted both via video conferencing tools, as well as through traditional face-to-face discussions in the future. Topics will include financial management and analysis, strategic growth, online marketing tools, business model development, branding and more. Virtual workshops will be 1.5 hours apiece and are planned for June and July, with additional in-person workshops planned for later this year.

Additionally, a five-week LaunchU course for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs will be planned for late summer or early fall. The LaunchU course takes participants through the entire planning process for starting a business, including market research, marketing strategy and financial planning. The course also includes a pitch competition at the end of the five-week program.

“Small business is a crucial driver of the local economy. Bringing this much needed training to our region’s small business owners and entrepreneurs is vital to help jumpstart our economy and begin recovering from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Now, more than ever before, Southeast Missouri State University is pleased to partner in this effort. We hope this training provides the tools and resources necessary for entrepreneurs to join in invigorating our local communities.”

Financial support from Regions Bank will allow all workshops to be free for all participants.

“In many ways, the success of our communities depends on the success of our small businesses,” said Eric Madkins, Vice President and Community Development Manager for Regions Bank. “Customized coaching from the Missouri Small Business Development Center is designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the unique challenges they currently face. This is, indeed, a very difficult time for small businesses. But Regions Bank is working with the SBDC, and additional organizations throughout our communities, to support resources that are available to assist.”

“We’re very excited and grateful for the support Regions Bank is bringing to our efforts to increase the support for small businesses in Southeast Missouri”, said Jakob Pallesen, Director of the SEMO SBDC. “Offering these workshops is one of the most effective ways we can reach many businesses at the same time. While no single workshop is going to fix every challenge, the goal is to bring ideas and resources to these entrepreneurs so they can tackle the challenges in the best way possible.”

About the Missouri SBDC

The Missouri SBDC helps business owners make confident decisions to start, grow, and sell their businesses. Services are provided to all Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis in the form of training events and one-to-one counseling by appointment. The Missouri SBDC is a program funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is a partner of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program.

About Regions Financial Corporation

Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $133 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,400 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.

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