June 27, 2019

Chicago's Small Business Center Is “ON THE ROAD” To 1871-theMART Thursday, June 27, 2019

Keynote Speaker Luis Garcia, Co-Founder, CEO and Chief Creative of Bixbee, Wants to Inspire a Generation of Children to Imagine and Create

Isaac Reichman     isaac.reichman@cityofchicago.org (O) 312.744.5365 (C) 312.805.9385

Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno announced today the third of five Small Business Center “On the Road” Expos of 2019 will occur Thursday, June 27 from 5pm – 9pm. Taking place at 1871-theMART, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza #1212, the Expo will feature keynote speaker Luis Garcia, Co-founder, CEO and Chief Creative of Bixbee. The free event is part of the City’s effort to support neighborhood businesses and economic development.

“This expo is about connecting entrepreneurs to the resources they need to launch and grow their business,” said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. “Whether you’re looking to open a new restaurant, expand your retail store, or launch your new big tech idea, this expo will help you succeed.”

Bixbee is an innovative, imagination-inspired, designer kids backpack and accessory brand with a social mission at its core. Luis Garcia opened his first experimental pop-up and retail shop, Bixbee Imagination Station, in Chicago this June, unveiling an immersive, interactive experience for the whole family. Through his One Here, One There, campaign, Luis donates one schoolbag with supplies for every backpack purchased.

“At Bixbee we look to celebrate kids’ creativity while giving children in need access to an education via a schoolbag with supplies,” says Luis. “Bixbee encourages kids to become whatever they can imagine because we believe that you cannot create or achieve anything if you don’t imagine it first. Chicago will be my third entrepreneurial endeavor – it’s a city rich in history and full of young and engaged families.”

The goal of the Small Business Center ”On the Road” Expo series is to provide free, expert advice to all entrepreneurs on topics such as licensing, financing and business planning. During the event, business owners and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to consult, network and gather information from more than 40 government and non-profit agencies. Services include consultants from the Small Business Center to help attendees apply for or renew a business license, a free tax clinic from Ladder Up/Center for Economic Progress and legal consultations from The Community Law Project.

The Expo also offers free mini-makeovers by technicians from the Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, professional head shots, sales pitch training, a consumer corner, financial advisors and a tech lane with technology tools for businesses. There will be two free workshops following the keynote speech to help entrepreneurs learn new business skills. The complete schedule is below.

Exhibitor Fair: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Participants can visit with exhibitors, get expert advice and receive a mini-makeover and free headshots.

Keynote Speaker: 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Luis Garcia, Co-founder, CEO and Chief Creative of Bixbee

Workshops: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Workshop 1: Roadmap to Business Financing presented by Fifth Third Bank and Accion Chicago

In order for businesses to start or grow, financing is often needed. Attend this workshop and you will obtain the pathway to financial success including traditional and non-traditional credit sources and how to best prepare for when your company needs capital most.

Workshop 2:  Don’t Lose Focus: Storytelling in Branding presented by 1871

Learn how to communicate your story through design, multimedia, and copywriting with Adam Arcus, Creative Director at 1871. Discover the importance of how your brand reflects in your customers mind through the stories you tell in every point of contact. Take away important aspects of how to integrate into your front door marketing strategies tangible tips and tricks of the trade, such as: memory making science, multimedia storytelling made simple, and the importance of narrative in a brand.

Networking: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Attendees can participate in a one-hour networking session on building and growing a business, sponsored by City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

The Small Business Center “On the Road” Expo is a series of five free expos in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. The series is a partnership between the City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), Fifth Third Bank, and Western Union.

To register for an expo or for more information, visit www.chismallbizexpo.com, call (312) 744-2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. For more information about the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center visit: www.cityofchicago.org/sbc.





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