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For the 17th straight year, small-business owners and entrepreneurs will gather this weekend in Buffalo for a one-day forum at which they can access information and resources to help them start or grow their businesses.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Buffalo District office and the Buffalo Niagara chapter of SCORE will host the Straight Talk 2013 seminar Saturday in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

The program will feature 60-minute seminars on key topics facing business owners, as well as opportunities for one-on-one business counseling. Participants can also visit information booths, speak to representatives from local business resources and, of course, network with each other.

“SBA is committed to expanding access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in under-served communities so that we can drive economic growth and job creation,” said Franklin Sciortino, district director of the SBA’s Buffalo office.

All participants will attend the Business Basics seminar to learn about business plans and other fundamentals, and they can then choose two additional seminars from seven options. The topics covered include accessing government contracting opportunities, taxes and permits, applying for credit and being creditworthy, marketing, opportunities and help for veterans, and “war stories” by successful business owners.

Invited guests and speakers include SBA Administrator Karen Gordon Mills, SBA Region II Administrator Jorge Silva-Puras, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown.

The program will start with registration at 8 a.m. The cost is $25 on the day of the event or $20 in advance.

Students with valid identification will pay $10, while veterans with proof of veteran status are free. The cost includes a continental breakfast and parking.

The one-day program will be followed by the Straight Talk Series of additional informational meetings over eight consecutive Tuesdays, from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m., at Medaille College. Attendance is free for those who attend Straight Talk 2013 or $5 per session for others. To register, call (716) 551-4301 or go online to www.wnystraighttalk.org.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com