Downtown Inc held a series of town hall meetings last year, asking business owners what would help their operations grow and stay in the city.
The answers the nonprofit gleaned from those sessions resulted in series of workshops being held this year. Best practices in customer service and social media communications were topics of workshops held in February and March, and four more are upcoming.
"We're not just recruiting new businesses to the city, we pay attention to the needs of the existing businesses," said Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of Downtown Inc.
The group will host its next workshop at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the White Rose Bar & Grill, focusing on ways to keep businesses and customers safe. Lt. Dave Allison of the York County Sheriff's Department and York City Police Officers Mike Davis and Blake McBride will be on hand to discuss the best time of day to make deposits, building security audits, employee safety training, what to do in an emergency, identity theft protection procedures and more.
"Public safety is a constant undercurrent in the business community," Huntzinger said.
Topics at workshops held later this year include hospitality, financials for small businesses and small business resources.
In addition to organizing workshops, Downtown Inc is also working to retain businesses by partnering with the York County Economic Alliance to survey the business community.
"We will be getting in depth information to gauge the temperature of our local economic climate. We're going to ask businesses, 'What do you need? What's missing? What will help you stay and grow in the city?'" Huntzinger said.
Remaining events on Downtown Inc.'s 2012 workshop schedule:
May 23: Keeping Your Business and Customers Safe
8 a.m., White Rose Bar & Grill
Lt. Dave Allison of the York County Sheriff's Department, and York City Police Officers Mike Davis and Blake McBride, will be on hand to discuss building security audits, employee safety training, what to do in an emergency, the best time of day to make deposits, identity theft protection procedures and more.
June 26: Hospitality Workshop with the Restaurant Doctor
8 a.m., New Grounds Roasting Company
Internationally renowned author and speaker Bill Marvin will present a three-hour workshop on hospitality. In addition to restaurants, the seminar will also help all retail and hospitality-based businesses reach their full potential.
Sept. 19: Financials for Small Businesses
8 a.m., The Lafayette Club
Rob Gratalo, partner at RKL's Tax Services Firm, will help businesses make sure they're doing everything right when it comes to managing their books and paying taxes.
Nov. 7: Small Business Resources
8 a.m., Central Market
Downtown Inc., YorKitchen, the York County Chamber of Commerce and other agencies will answer questions about which resources are available to small businesses.
Call Downtown Inc. at 849-2331 for more information.
-- Reach Candy Woodall at 505-5437 or email@example.com.