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Small Business Workshops

As part of our mission to advance the vitality of Downtown Raleigh for everyone, DRA supports downtown's business owners with yearly small business workshops. 


    Previous Workshops

    Raleigh Pride - How to be a More Inclusive Business for the LGBTQIA+ Community

    Join Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the LGBT Center of Raleigh, LGBT Chamber, and Raleigh Pride for a virtual Small Business Workshop to discuss:

    • Inclusive language
    • How to hire with equity in mind
    • How to be a safer and more affirming place for the LGBTQIA+ community
    • How Downtown Raleigh businesses can get involved and celebrate Raleigh Pride this June


    A Special Events How-To Guide for Storefront Businesses 

    New City of Raleigh special event policies enacted in the last six months have made planning a special event to support your storefront easier than ever before. Join Downtown Raleigh Alliance and the City of Raleigh’s Office of Emergency Management, Special Events, & Hospitality team to learn more about the new options and process for hosting an event in Downtown Raleigh.

    Given the scale, costs, and planning necessary for larger events, as well as changes in behavior from the pandemic, the City of Raleigh has implemented a new special events structure that makes it easier, more flexible, and more affordable for small-scale event producers. These policy changes came out of recommendations DRA provided in the Public Realm Study last year. New policies have reduced or eliminated the fees, shortened the application deadline, and have otherwise streamlined the process for conducting small-scale events in downtown.

    In this Small Business Workshop, you will learn about the new changes to the special events process, including the addition of small-scale activations. You will also learn how events are defined and the processes to apply for them.


    Financial Literacy For Small Businesses by M&F Bank 

    Downtown Raleigh Alliance welcomes Soberina Traywick of M&F Bank for this virtual Small Business Workshop on financial literacy and small business support. Soberina is the Senior Vice President and Triangle Commercial Banking Team leader for M & F Bank. She formerly served as the Raleigh City Executive for the same company.  She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Economics. Soberina has been in banking for over 30 years and has been with M & F Bank for the past 15 years. She assists M & F Bank with its financial literacy mission by helping clients with banking and financial service needs.


    2022 Small Business Recovery Grant Opportunities 

    Downtown Raleigh Alliance's virtual webinar discusses new business recovery grant opportunities available to Raleigh-area small businesses in 2022. McKinley Wooten and Will Futrell with the NCDOR discussed NC’s Business Recovery Grant program, eligibility, and how to apply before the deadline of January 31, 2022. In addition, Mark Weldon shared updates on the City of Raleigh’s upcoming $5M COVID-19 relief funding opportunity. These programs and others like it will provide financial support to eligible businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.



    Social is Changing - Updates You Need to Make to Stay Relevant on Instagram and TikTok

    Anna Sullivan, founder and CEO of the Creative Exchange joined DRA for a presentation covering how social media is changing and how businesses can stay relevant, leveraging Instagram, TikTok and other social platforms to reach customers.


    Pop Up Market Events – A Pipeline for Entrepreneurial Growth 

    June's workshop was aimed at women and minority-owned businesses who want to learn more about pop-up markets and business resources. Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA) hosted a panel of market organizers to discuss the important role markets have in growing your business and brand awareness. The panelists included the visionaries behind Black Flea Market, Raleigh Night Market, Triangle Pop-Up, and Moore Square Market. They discussed how to participate in the markets and the opportunities and resources available for entrepreneurs.

    Retail Resilience – Celebrating Small Wins

    April's workshop highlighted small businesses as owners shared wins during COVID, lessons learned and future plans after a year of the pandemic. DRA shared trends and updates on downtown and planned initiatives for the coming months.

    What Employers Need to Know about the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Downtown Raleigh Alliance, with Shop Local Raleigh, Live It Up! Hillsborough Street and celito, hosted a virtual small business workshop focused on employer considerations with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.