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UNI program giving hope to small business owners through online video series

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) -- It's no secret many small business owners are struggling right now amid COVID-19 concerns.

Many are in crisis mode, closing their doors due to government restrictions, changing their business models and laying off employees.

But one agency is trying to help.

The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) launched a new video series called 'Coping with COVID-19, Creative Solutions for your Business' on March 24.

The short webinars feature speakers from all over Iowa and cover a wide range of topics and resources for small business owners and entrepreneurs, such as managing a virtual staff, unemployment law changes, flexibility and productivity, finance and strategy, marketing and mental health.

The goal is to give business owners different strategies and innovative ideas during the coronavirus pandemic.

Director of CBGI, Paul Kinghorn, said it's important to stay positive while navigating through this unprecedented time.

"We currently are in a situation where we have to get creative and innovative to find solutions to work through this," he said. "There's more reason to be optimistic than people think."

So far, there have been about 16 videos, garnering more than 4,500 views. Kinghorn said they will continue making them for the foreseeable feature. He wants business owners to understand there are resources available.

"Don't think you have to do it alone," Kinghorn said. "There's people all around you that are willing to help and assist, even if it's just an ear to listen to."

The series will be available live through Advance Iowa and Center for Business Growth and Innovation's Facebook pages twice a day at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

This week, they will only offer the 10 a.m. slot.

Each live stream will contain different tools about how to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

Videos will be archived and available online at and

For more information about the CGBI, you can visit their website or call them at 319-273-4344.

You can also check out Iowa Source Link, a resource Kinghorn said is valuable to business owners.

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Olivia Schmitt

Morning Anchor

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