Five local business alliances have recently been formed by and for MMF Alumni. They were founded to create a supportive network of local business owners who work together to identify and provide training, marketing, and financial resources to collectively benefit their businesses.
Artists Alliance – The Artist Alliance is a group of MMF members working together to provide assistance to MMF member artists in developing successful marketing skills related to their art forms. The Artist Alliance has a steering committee that meets every two weeks and member meetings are held monthly for MMF members. The Artist Alliance plans and develops workshops and is currently developing an artist library. For information on the Artist’s Alliance, call Sharon Oxendine at 828-253-2834.
La Asociación de Negocios Latinos (The Latino Business Association) supports MMF’s Spanish-speaking alumni. The Program Committee has held educational workshops on tax issues and insurance. The Publicity Committee coordinates the annual Latino Business Showcase, which also celebrates Latin Americans’ “El Dia del Niño” (Children’s Day). The showcase features more than 30 local Latino businesses, which promote their products and services in a family-friendly environment. The Lending Committee reviews and approves peer loans to Spanish-speaking alumni. The Association’s leadership mobilized during Christmas week to come to the aid of MMF’s Bilingual Program Coordinator, Rosario Villareal, whose home burned down. The association’s vice-president, Francisco Tomas, shared, “In so many ways, the association represents the local Latino people’s voice, as we work together to build a better society.” Contact Adriana Chavela at 828-692-5826 or email her at [email protected] for more information.
Polk County’s Community Business Alliance (CBA) initiates and supports new approaches for small business success, and hosts networking and educational opportunities for the county’s entrepreneurs. The CBA’s three committees focus on event planning, public relations, and development of the CBA’s promotional booklet of local MMF alumni businesses. Members are working together to create opportunities for cooperative advertising, a local system of bartering, and the development of a monthly newsletter. Peggy Horton, chair of the CBA, said, “Polk County CBA membership is working hard to visualize the dream that many Americans have of owning a small business. Utilizing MMF and the CBA, our members are becoming their own bosses.” Contact Jo Ann Miksa at 828-817-4442 or email her at [email protected] for more information.
The Mountain Business Alliance (TMBA) serves alumni in Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties. The Education Committee hosts informative trainings which have included: tax issues, insurance, and website design. Brainstorming sessions focus on the needs and opportunities of one particular TMBA member business each month. The Marketing/Recruitment Committee has represented TMBA at local event, and hope to begin cooperative advertising in 2004. The Loan Committee plas an active role in overseeing the approval and repayment of MMF peer loans. MMF’s Program Coordinator, Tonya Wilson, calls the TMBA “active, energetic, and on the ball!” Contact Tonya Wilson at 828-631-0292 or email her at [email protected] for more information.