Ashley Archibald, The Union Democrat

The Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce and other agencies will host the Mother Lode Business Services Summit in May.

The summit is a series of workshops on different aspects of building and promoting business, said George Segarini, president and chief executive officer of the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber is presenting it in cooperation with the Columbia College,

Mother Lode Job Training and chambers of commerce from Calaveras

County, Sonora and Twain Harte.

The goal is to provide classes to small and local businesses at a low cost, Segarini said.

"There will be classes on everything from how to do a business plan

to virtually any kind of marketing, from social marketing to standard

media including radio, TV and newspaper," Segarini said.

Classes are broken down into four "tracks" based on topic.

Participants may attend whichever workshops they like, no matter the

track, Segarini said.

Tracks include media marketing, business basics, sustainable

business practices and a QuickBooks session taught by local CPA Sam


QuickBooks is accounting software for small businesses.

Larry Cope, the director of the Tuolumne County Economic

Development Authority, is leading the session on government


Businesses will have the opportunity to meet with representatives

from state, federal, county and, possibly, city agencies to discuss

what contracts are available and how to best pursue them, Cope said.

"There are a lot of contracts in the national forest, prison system

and county," Cope said. "If a local individual wants a contract, it

benefits both the county and the company."

The third annual summit will be held on May 5. Registration and

continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m., letting out at 6 p.m. after

networking and cocktails.

The summit costs $35 for Chamber of Commerce members and $45 for

non-members if they register before Thursday. The fee will be $45 for

members and $55 for non-members after April 1.