How Topeka Independent Business Association lets local owners know they’re not alone

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The Topeka Independent Business Association is gearing up for its next social event to promote the growth of small and independent businesses in the area.

TIBA works to help local businesses with the resources they need, said Jennifer Kirmsey, a member of the TBA Board of Directors.

“The whole goal is to let business owners know they’re not alone,” says Kirmsey, “and to let them know there’s a group of people out there trying to think, collaborate, network and enter new lines of business.”

When is the next TBA event for small businesses?

Networking and trying to find new lines of business is one of the lunch and learns.

“Our goal is to provide lunch and generally learn every month,” Kirmsey said. “We’re just here to create a network to help business owners know that owning a business isn’t easy and that we’re here to support them.”

TIBA will have a lunch and lecture Jan. 9 at the Kansas Statehouse Visitor Center. Networking and socializing begins at 11:30 am with lunch starting at 11:45

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Guest speakers will be Natalie Bright, co-owner of Bright & Carpenter Consulting, and Sen. Christine O’Shea, R-Topeka. They are expected to speak at noon.

To purchase tickets for lunch and learn, visit TBA website. Tickets are $20 for TIBA members and $25 for guests.

How can your business become a TBA member?

To be a member of the TBA, your business must be private, and the company’s stock cannot be publicly traded if incorporated. A business must work at least 30 hours a week to qualify for health and dental benefits and more.

The most recent data shows the number of homes sold for less in Shawnee County. Here is the average price for the month of August.

Membership fees vary from $150 to $400 depending on the number of employees.

“The biggest thing we want business owners to know is that they are not alone,” Kirmsey said. “He’s probably going through the same hurdles or obstacles that anyone else is going through.”

Keshera is most recently a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Lately_KT.

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