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March 2021

Let’s Talk Strategy with Nisha Blackwell

March 25 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Let’s Talk Strategy with Nisha Blackwell Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. So now you have good bookkeeping practices, a solid legal foundation, a fully functioning e-commerce store, and great marketing collateral with your own photography. What next? To round out our Get Legit webinar series, Nisha Blackwell, Founder of Knotzland and Program Coordinator/Business Coach for the CBA’s ORIGINS Program, will discuss how you can take all of the business fundamentals you’ve built upon over the last few months and develop solid strategies…

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April 2021

Coffee with Consultants Featuring Mary Jo Lincoln, CPA of Riverside Sales Group, LLC

April 14 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Join Mary Jo Lincoln, CPA of Riverside Sales Group, LLC to discuss any of your accounting, tax, sales, or business start-up questions over a cup of coffee. She will cover different topics such as making the decision between becoming an LLC or an S-Corp, and how that will impact your business. She will also be available to answer any tax questions your business has. Take this opportunity to have your questions answered by an expert over coffee and conversation.

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Past Webinars to Share Emerging Strategies

Building an Inclusive Brand: Strategies to Create a More Equitable Business

This webinar occurred on July, 1, 2020. The recent movement to address systemic racism rightfully amplified the voices and brands of Black entrepreneurs. It also provided an opportunity for all creative businesses to consider carefully the inclusivity and equity of their messaging and practices. Facilitated by Nisha Blackwell, Founder of Knotzland, we explored this complex topic with a panel of local Black entrepreneurs and advocates with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. 


> Watch the Webinar

How Grant Funding Informs Creative Practice and Business Growth

This webinar occurred on June 24th, 2020. Most makers, designers, and artists make a living by selling their work. How can grant funding for artistic activities relate to progress as a creative business? The intersection of contributed income, artistic practice, and business operations is complex, so the CBA brought together an expert panel to explore this topic.


> Watch the Webinar

Digital Panel Discussion: Navigating Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

This discussion occurred on Wednesday, June 17th. The Creative Business Accelerator has received many questions from artists, makers and designers about how the navigate Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). As many of you know, independent contractors and the self-employed have been specifically included for unemployment coverage. While this is a great new opportunity, it’s also been difficult to navigate for some people. To help answer your questions, we’ve brought together three panelists to help unpack the ins and outs of the PUA.


Sara Innamorato, PA House Representative, 21st District

Marlene van Nelson, Founder of Trellis Legal

Richard Longo, Interim Director, Duquesne SBDC

>Watch the Webinar

>View Presentation Deck

From Red to Yellow: Best Practices for Businesses Reopening During COVID-19

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently announced that a number of Southwestern PA counties will move to the yellow zone of reopening. What does this mean, and how can businesses protect their returning employees and customers? We brought together Petra Mitchell, President and CEO of Catalyst Connection (creators of the Back-to-Work Playbook), Marlene van Nelson of Trellis Legal, Samantha Sickle from the PG&H Shop, and business owner Zak Kruszynski from Bones and All to discuss the questions, concerns, and strategies for getting back to business during COVID-19. This webinar occurred on May 20th, 2020.

>Watch the webinar

>PA COVID-19 Reopening Businesses Flyer

>Catalyst Back-to-Work Playbook

>The Post-Pandemic Playbook

>Open for Business – A Blueprint for Shopping Safe

>Four ways to revive retail after shelter-in-place

>Q&A: How should businesses start to prepare for reopening?

>Back to Brick and Mortar Guide


Digital Panel Discussion: Adapting Market and Sales Strategies for Reopening

On May 15th, 2020 we were joined by local marketing experts Rob Carney and Maria Marchione from Carney for a panel discussion exploring how small businesses can adjust their marketing and sales strategies to address COVID-19. This discussion, facilitated by Bridgeway Capital’s Entrepreneurship Hub and the CBA team, was shaped by questions submitted by local businesses ahead of time, with additional Q&A for participants throughout the webinar.

> Watch the Webinar


Learn How to Access Business Guidance with Bridgeway Capital’s Entrepreneurship Hub

Bridgeway Capital’s Entrepreneurship Hub offers free consultations on topics ranging from Business Strategy, Accounting, Legal and more. Entrepreneurship Hub Manager Talpha Harris along with CBA team members provide a 30 minute overview of this free resource with a Q&A at the end. This webinar was recorded on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

> Watch the Webinar

> Presentation Deck

Legal Considerations for Adapting Your Creative Business for COVID-19 + Updates on Unemployment

Are you expanding your business to online sales, teaching online courses, or planning giveaways? In this webinar, Marlene van Nelson of Trellis Legal will discuss ways creative businesses are adapting to stay viable and the related legal considerations to make sure your business stays protected. She will cover online terms and privacy policies, legal considerations and regulations for giveaways and flash sales, and important legal considerations for providing funds to laid-off employees. The webinar will also include suggested next steps and methods for tackling these legal considerations while budgets are tight and any updates we know on unemployment compensation for self-employed and 1099 workers. This webinar was recorded on April 17th and can be streamed in the link below.

> Watch the Webinar

> View Presentation Deck

Taxes for Artists & Preparing for a Downturn

What can I deduct? What is a Schedule C? How do I deduct my home studio? Hannah Cole is a tax expert who specializes in working with creative businesses and artists. A long-time working artist with a high-level exhibition history, and a tax and money columnist for the art blog Hyperallergic, the financial challenges of freelancers and small creative businesses are both relevant and personal to Hannah. She discussed the basic tax equation, self-employment tax and the estimated quarterly tax system, audit concerns for the creative person, and other tax issues specifically relevant to artists and makers, followed by a question and answer period. Hannah Cole is the founder of Sunlight Tax, which specializes in friendly, informative tax preparation for artists, and engaging, art-world savvy tax education workshops for artist groups. This webinar occurred on Friday, May 1st.

> PDF Hardship/Job Loss Checklist

> Resource Guide

> Taxes for Artists outline/resource list (last page)

Managing Your Business’ Finances During COVID-19

This webinar was recorded on April 24, 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses are rethinking their finances in order to become lean and flexible. In this Zoom webinar, Business Consultant Tammy Szijarto will discuss techniques for managing your cash flow during a crisis and beyond, as the effects of COVID-19 may be felt for the rest of 2020. Topics covered include:

  • Reducing common expenses within your control
  • Reviewing your finances to reduce or delay bills and fees
  • Negotiating with vendors, landlords, and current lenders for new terms
  • Rethinking product offerings and price points
  • Considering new marketing practices, sales channels, and acquiring free or low-cost help to execute new strategies
  • Identifying small business grants
  • Efficient tax instruments businesses can utilize to keep more of your income

> Watch the Webinar

> Presentation Deck

> Managing Business Finances During A Crisis Excel Worksheet

Understanding the Emergency Capital Options for Regional Creative Businesses

A number of mission-driven lenders recently created loan products with very patient and flexible terms to inject working capital into creative businesses enduring the COVID-19 crisis. For this web meeting, creative business owners will be able to ask questions about the products available by lenders ranging from KIVA to Bridgeway to SBA. The session will currently include Richard Longo, Interim Director of Duquesne University School of Business and Small Business Development Center, Michael Dunmire, Growth Loan Officer at Bridgeway Capital, and Emily Keebler, Kiva Pittsburgh Program Director at Riverside Center for Innovation. This web meeting was held Friday, April 3, 2020.

> Watch the Webinar

> Comparing Emergency Capital

> Duquesne SBDC PPP Overview

> Kiva COVID-19 Overview

> Bridgeway COVID-19 Respond Fund Overview

Operating a Creative Business in PA During COVID-19

Governor Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close. How does this impact your creative business? What are your rights as a business owner during this period of time? What activities are restricted or permitted? How does COVID-19 impact your contracts and other business relationships? Marlene Van Nelson from Trellis Legal will lead a web meeting to address these questions and more. This web meeting was held Friday, March 27, 2020.

> Watch the Webinar 

> Trellis Legal Overview

Tools and Resources to Navigate the Crisis

Consult with CBA Team

Like other nonessential businesses and nonprofits in the area, Bridgeway’s staff is not able to meet in person, and no longer works from its offices. We stand ready to participate in phone calls and video chats to discuss creative business strategies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schedule Appointment

Unemployment for Artists and Creatives During COVID-19

This live-streamed webinar provides an overview of unemployment benefits for artists and creatives out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Presented by Artist Trust and Washington Filmworks/Whipsmart, attorneys John Tirpak and Anne Paxton of Unemployment Law Project discusses how to apply for unemployment benefits, what to do if you’ve been denied, and what the forthcoming stimulus package will mean for gig workers and contractors.

Watch this Live-Streamed Webinar

Prepare Your Business and Employees for Reopening During COVID-19

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners and manufacturers should develop strategies to protect their employees and customers’ safety. Catalyst Connection, developed a Back-to-Work Playbook that covers everything you need to know about creating and communicating effective measures and procedures that will prioritize the health, safety, and security of your manufacturing environment, workers, customers, and products. From personal protective gear protocols and sanitation processes to measures for maintaining social distancing in the workplace, gaining buy-in for new measures, and more, the Playbook will help you establish a sustainable and safe new normal during and after COVID-19
Also, the CDC has developed a worksheet for small businesses to use as a framework for developing a plan for re-opening after shelter-in-place is lifted. Many of the strategies outlined by the CDC are applicable for retail and small shared work spaces.

Catalyst Back-to-Work Playbook
CDC Coronavirus Employee Safety Checklist

Emergency Grants and Resources for Craftspeople and Artists from CERF+

CERF+ was started by artists for artists in the craft community as a grassroots mutual aid effort in 1985, and has since emerged as the leading nonprofit organization that uniquely focuses on safeguarding artists’ livelihoods nationwide. CERF+ is offering resources and grants for artists, but due to demand it’s being limited to those affected by COVID-19.

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