Downtown Library to Offer Free Financial Workshops for Business Owners

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (May 18, 2017) Starting May 30, Manatee County Public Libraries is offering a series of four free monthly Business Workshops, in partnership with Manatee County Economic Development and Manasota SCORE’s Success Strategies for Business Owners Meetups.


The planned workshops, which will be held the last Tuesdays of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., are as follows:


May 30: Seasonality: Surviving the Summer Slowdown, featuring Stefan Sommerfield (Retail Industry Expert), Dylan Bower (Manager, Holiday Inn Sarasota Airport) and John Horne (CEO, Anna Maria Oyster Bar): The impacts of seasonality and tips for making the best of the slow season.


June 27: Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs, presented by John Montelione (CEO and Co-Founder of J-Tech Investments): Basics, the ingredients of a successful crowdfunding project and how to launch a social media crowdfunding campaign.


July 25: Business and Franchise Opportunities for Veterans, presented by Mat Bengston (Certified Franchise Specialist, FranNet) and Lee Washington (Veteran Services Officer, Manatee County Government): Franchise and independent business ownership opportunities and County services available to veterans. 


August 29: Market.Management.Money.Manatee: Local Resources for Success, presented by Che Barnett (Redevelopment Coordinator, Manatee County Government) and Chelsea Baker (Information Services Librarian, Manatee County Public Library System): Programs and information from Manatee County Government to help local businesses thrive.


Bringing small business owners free workshops is one way Manatee Libraries is working to support local economic development, according to Ericka Dow, Information Services Supervisor.


This series of workshops will be the second set of workshops offered through SCORE. Manasota SCORE was the No. 1 Mid-Size Market Chapter of the Year and No. 2 overall, due to the success of their innovative outreach and programs.


Last summer, SCORE offered a series of workshops at Downtown Library, designed to help businesses increase Web traffic.


Manasota SCORE Chapter Chair, Dennis Zink, sees this second summer library series as a good way to connect small businesses with local resources, readily available to help them succeed.


“The diversity of speakers will deliver a range of perspectives and expert advice that can help boost local economic growth. We will be preserving highlights of these Success Strategies for Business Owners workshops in podcasts accessible through our Been There, Done That! Series,” said Zink.


Downtown Central Library is located at 1301 Barcarrota Boulevard West, Bradenton, 34205. Light refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Central Library. Please register at to reserve a seat.  


For more information about this event, please call 941-748-5555 (x6309), send an email to or go to


About the Manatee County Public Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and 2013 “Library Innovation” winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. This past year, Manatee Libraries was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.9 million times (a record high). Downloads of their digital ebook/eaudio/movies have continued to double each year, while technical training and computer assistance were up 16%. The 47,000 customers who attended their wide variety of informational and educational programs and events reflect an increase of 130% since 2006. For more information, call Downtown Library at (941) 748-5555, ext. 6307. For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit, follow them at or twitter and instragram @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit, or twitter @ManateeGov


About Manatee County Economic Development Division: Manatee County Economic Development Division helps businesses with site selection, permitting, rapid response, impact fees and access to a variety of federal, state and local economic incentives. For more information call 941-749-3029 or visit


About Manasota SCORE:  Manasota SCORE provides free, confidential business education and mentoring services for established businesses and startups, offered by 80 volunteers with experience and skills in a broad range of business settings. The chapter is part of national SCORE, started in 1964, that has over 300 chapters and 10,000 volunteers. For more information, visit