The Churchill Economic Development Authority and Fallon Chamber of Commerce are inviting all business owners and entrepreneurs to attend a one-hour “rural roadshow” Wednesday to meet the state’s new Small Business Administration’s district director and learn how programs can help with development, employee recruitment and access to loans.
Joseph Amato will speak at the Old Post Office from 8-9:45 a.m. as he discusses his plans for the state’s entrepreneurs and small businesses. CEDA Executive Director Nate Strong said the session is free, and he is encouraging as many small and large business owners and representatives from Naval Air Station Fallon and the Fallon Tribal Development Corporation to attend. He also welcomes anyone who may be thinking about starting a business.
“We like to start working with then to move forward,” he said. “It will be a good interaction.”
Strong said the question-and-answer hour with Amato has been well received, and CEDA also received attendance confirmations from business owners in Silver Springs, Fernley and Lovelock will attend.
Amato will then spend the rest of the morning talking to representatives from both the city of Fallon and Churchill County before he travels to Winnemucca.
Strong said he heard Amato speak at an October event and was impressed with what the director offered.
“He was very successful in the business world, and this is his first foray into government,” Strong said.
A former executive and business leader with over 30 years of experience in small business development and commercial lending, Amato brings with him more than 30 years’ experience in small business development and commercial lending as a former executive and business leader. Amato started a small business which he later sold to a major financial institution. He was recognized as SBA Financial Services Advocate of the Year for his work assisting small businesses.
Amato oversees Nevada’s SBA services in Nevada, and his upcoming road trip is intended to visit as many communities in Northern Nevada. He will talk to business owners in Hawthorne on Monday and then in Minden on Tuesday before coming to Fallon.
“He has a fresh outlook, Strong said. “He does not bring a history of a bureaucrat to the SBA.”
Sara Champneys is looking forward to Amato’s visits. As CEDA’s marketing officer and adviser for the Small Business Development Center, she works with new and existing business in Churchill County and coordinates her activities with the Nevada SBDC. The Nevada SBDC, which is in partnership with both the University of Nevada’s Reno and Las Vegas campuses and other government and private agencies, offers and coordinates workshops, seminars and courses in collaboration with public and private sectors.
“I look at what they need,” she said of business owners and entrepreneurs. “If they come looking for lending and depending on the size of loan or what they’re looking for, I’ll match them with a lender, either a traditional or nontraditional lender.”
Champneys helps businesses with their business plans, marketing, taxation questions or providing information for state business licenses.