The “¡Echale Gas!” Small Business Workshops seek to provide south side small business owners and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to learn both the fundamentals and the latest trends for effective business development and management. The workshops educate and connect participants with the resources to support small business development, expansion, and retention. Southside First conducts monthly, in-person and online, free small business workshops in strategic locations throughout San Antonio’s south side, which includes City of San Antonio Council Districts 3, 4, and 5.
The programming delivered before the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 was developed based on Southside First’s in-person Community and Business Surveys conducted of the Quintana and Mission San Jose neighborhoods in partnership with the St. Mary’s University Harvey Najim Center for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility.
As per the COVID-19 pandemic, Southside First shifted program delivery from in-person training sessions to include online, web-based training and communication through social media, electronic newsletters, and targeted email featuring disaster assistance funding, technical assistance, and resources for small businesses. Southside First collaborates with partners including the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, LiftFund, LaunchSA, LISC San Antonio, the U.S. Small Business Administration, NALCAB, the University of Texas San Antonio Small Business Development Center, Palo Alto College, Texas A&M San Antonio and others. Private sector partners are small businesses, banks, commercial realtors, engineers, architects, developers, and other professionals. Community partners are the Mission San Jose and the Quintana Community Neighborhood Associations and multiple south side neighborhood associations.