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Extension’s summer series turns to market research

With COVID-19 posing more and more challenges to small businesses, having and understanding pertinent data can help businesses make adjustments to improve their chances of success. University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering an online town hall this Wednesday and a webinar this Friday on market research and finding and using data to grow small businesses.

During Friday’s webinar, there will be a demonstration of what it’s like to go through industry reports and economic data and what the numbers might mean for a given small business. Both the town hall and the webinar are free, and there will be English-language and Spanish-language sessions.

The events are part of a series of town halls and webinars for small businesses, “Coping With COVID-19,” being offered each week. The town halls begin with a presentation on a given topic, then participants network with one another and drive the discussion. The webinars provide information on specific topics to help businesses plan strategically, adapt and succeed.

This week’s sessions include the “Market Research and Gathering Data” town hall at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, for English speakers, and at 2 p.m. for Spanish speakers. Panelists include Small Business Administration Deputy Director Saul Ramos, Small Business Administration outreach/marketing specialist Alfredo Cedeno, Extension business development instructors Reyna Mendez and Juan Salas and Extension research associate Mike Bindrup.

The webinar, “Market Research: Using Data to Grow Your Small Business,” will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, July 31 for English speakers and at 11:30 a.m. for Spanish speakers. Mendez, Bindrup and Extension’s Lucas Thomas (for the 9 a.m. session) will discuss how to conduct research for any industry; finding, using and maintaining data; who to contact for data and research help and how to contact them, including University of Nevada, Reno Extension, Nevada Grow and University Libraries; how to navigate demographic and economic reports; “guerrilla” research (a quick, low-cost way of gathering some information); and the pros and cons of data.

“Data and numbers can intimidate some people,” said Buddy Borden, economic development specialist with Extension’s Business Development Program. “But having the right market research for decision-making can make all the difference when a small business is looking for ways to adapt and stay afloat. And once people get familiar with the data they need and how to interpret it, they usually find it pretty interesting, and very helpful. That’s where we hope to point them with this week’s session.”

Both the town halls and the webinars usually run about an hour. To register for the 9 a.m. Wednesday English-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_D1Wx-RfoRIuSp638FljE4Q

For the Wednesday Spanish-language town hall, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cz-pfblmTjidfFanAfZD9w

For the Friday English-language webinar, go to: https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bH0oCCEDSa-rPktUKbAV2A, and for the Friday Spanish-language webinar, go to https://unrextension.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ndkE3d0FQIqDKPsFmcrMkA

For more information, go to the Extension Business Development Program website at extension.unr.edu/busdev

There are other resources at the website to assist businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, email Borden at bordenb@unr.edu

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