Facebook offering free workshops, training for small businesses - KMOV.com

Facebook offering free workshops, training for small businesses in St. Louis

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Facebook is launching a brand new initiative called "Community Boost" to help small grow small businesses by training them on their digital skill set. They have picked 30 cities to roll out this program and chose St. Louis to be first. (Credit KMOV) Facebook is launching a brand new initiative called "Community Boost" to help small grow small businesses by training them on their digital skill set. They have picked 30 cities to roll out this program and chose St. Louis to be first. (Credit KMOV)
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Facebook is launching a brand new initiative called "Community Boost" to help small grow small businesses by training them on their digital skill set. They have picked 30 cities to roll out this program and chose St. Louis to be the first one. Facebook is coming to St. Louis March 26-30 to host courses on digital training for business owners, employees and people who just want to learn how to master their digital business skills.

One of the businesses excited to benefit from "Community Boost" is Eye See Me, a bookstore that sells books for children and young adults with diverse main characters.

"The biggest thing is really getting the word out and let people know that we're here," said Jeffrey Blair, the store's co-owner.

The family-owned business is located along Olive Boulevard in University City.

"Our cause really is to help improve our community and it starts with literacy," said Blair. He uses Facebook to reach and engage with customers.

However, he doesn't think they are using the company's Facebook page to its full potential.

"Because a lot of times I'm like, 'I don't know how to do this, can I get a resource to assist me with that and a lot of people locally don't know as well," he said.

This is where Facebook's new initiative "Community Boost" hopes to help.

"Small business owners know that they need skills they don't have, they just need the training and we're going to provide that training," said Aneesh Ramen, Facebook's manager of economic impact programs. "We'll have programs to help you think about how to get online, how to trade globally, how to reach customers, not just around the corner but around the world," 

Facebook said they chose St. Louis as the launch city for several reasons.

"There's so much interesting stuff happening in St. Louis around innovation, small businesses have a really strong community there, and we just think minority-owned businesses are a really integral part of the community. There's an impact that we can have," Ramen explained.

"Just having a website and a Facebook page wasn't enough," said Blair.

Anyone can sign up for these training courses, provided first-hand by Facebook employees. Sign up on their website: https://www.facebook.com/business/m/community-boost

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