OzSBI Continues to Serve as Resource Center for Small Businesses during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

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The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) will continue providing business counseling and resources during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“Although business services offered through OzSBI will move to alternative formats for the time being, our organization will continue to offer support to startups and existing businesses in its seven-county service area,” OzSBI Executive Heather Fisher said. “Our business community’s health and safety are our priorities. We will continue to do all we can to protect both while honoring our mission of helping businesses grow during the ongoing health crisis in our nation.”

Among OzSBI’s core services is professional mentoring for business owners and entrepreneurs. To help maintain social distance, mentoring sessions will be moved to Zoom, phone calls and other online formats.

OzSBI has also created an online resource for information and news specific to businesses provided by professional health organizations, technology and marketing firms, national disaster relief organizations and more. The resource list can be accessed through OzSBI’s website at https://ozsbi.com/articles/covid-19-business-resources. OzSBI will also keep the business community updated regarding the Small Business Administration Disaster Recovery Loans, which as of press time are not yet available. 

Business workshops and training traditionally offered onsite at the incubator will also transition to online formats, Fisher said. “Bringing a variety of business education and professional development to our region is important to us as an incubator,” Fisher said. “While in-person trainings are postponed for now, OzSBI will be streaming other trainings to address the financial and marketing concerns small businesses are facing during these unprecedented times.”

As of today, OzSBI continues to operate during its normal business hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Staff are working remotely part-time. Precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as extra sanitation of surfaces, limited access of the building and more have been put in place. In-person meetings at the incubator are limited for now, but anyone seeking business guidance is welcome to visit by phone with OzSBI staff members and mentors by calling 417-256-9724. If OzSBI staff transition to working remotely full-time, the public will be notified.

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