score summit

Local businesses will have free networking and educational opportunities at the first ever Santa Maria Small Business Summit. The event, put on by SCORE in partnership with the City of Santa Maria and the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, will take place April 26 from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria.

Through networking and a series of seminars, the Summit is designed to provide business owners, employees and community members with useful and actionable ideas and techniques to take their business to the top.

The event will have seven different industry experts on hand discussing topics relevant to any business looking to grow. These experts will hold free 50 minute seminars on a variety of subjects throughout the morning’s event. Presenters include Constant Contact (Email), Google (SEO), Kabbage (Alternate funding sources), Paychex (HR), Econcept (Social Media), YouTube (For Businesses), and U.S Small Business Association (Loans). Some of these presentations will also be available in Spanish.

“When selecting who we wanted presenting, we really wanted industry leaders who could speak on subjects relevant to all businesses” explains Bob Kerwin, co-chair of SCORE San Luis Obispo. “These experts will identify techniques and ideas that businesses can take away and improve either their marketing or their operations.”

In addition to the seminars, the Summit also includes a large EXPO area where “Business to Business” networking will take place throughout the day. The summit presenters and local businesses will have tables and be available to discuss and display how they can help other businesses. This networking area will be available for the duration of the summit, even while the seminars are being presented in breakout rooms.

“Having this networking opportunity is an important element of the event, because it gives local businesses a chance to network and exchanges ideas,” Kerwin said. “We understand that being connected in the local community is equally as important as having the proper tools and training, so we wanted to provide both at the Small Business Summit.”

The Santa Maria Small Business Summit is a free event, and open to any local business owners, employees or community members.

“The event is really open to anyone in the community who feels they could benefit from something like this,” Kerwin said.

Kerwin says he understands many small businesses cannot afford to have staff out of office for an entire day, which is why he designed the Summit to allow participants to stay as long as they choose.

“The format of the event is done in a way that people can attend any or all parts of the Summit that they feel will be useful. They can attend the seminars they select or network or do both.”

While the Santa Maria Small Business Summit is a free event, registration is required. Registration information will be available in the coming weeks. Informational Tables in the large Expo room are available for $100, and other event sponsorship opportunities are also available.

You can learn more and register HERE!

For further information on the Summit, to register early or reserve and Expo table, contact Bob or Carol Kerwin at

The Santa Maria Small Business Summit is put on by SCORE. SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration. There are 325 chapters in the United States. The local SCORE chapter is responsible for Santa Maria Valley and San Luis Obispo County. SCORE is a nonprofit Organization whose goal is to help businesses prosper. SCORE offers face-to-face mentoring, workshops, email mentoring and soon, video mentoring.