Small Business Seminar

New census figures show Houston is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It’s also home to thousands of small businesses struggling to keep up. Bill Stamps tells us how one state agency is trying to help.

Renee Miller has more than a thousand men and women laughing as they sit in front of their donuts and coffee in this large conference room at the Galleria’s Westin Hotel.

“What is the difference between sexual harassment and just being an idiot?”

But what she’s talking about is no laughing matter. Miller works for the Texas Workforce Commission which is trying to help small businesses…stay in business.

Sandy Troff runs a Houston food distributing business. She says its not easy keeping up with the new laws.

“Policies change. You figure ten years ago you didn’t have to have a policy about email usage, cell phone usage  things like that.”

Small Businesswoman Monie Harwell agrees the government doesn’t make it easy for them.

“Oh my god, all the paperwork, and all the various news fees. Which is just another fancy word for tax.”

The seminar runs all day and features a number of speakers with expertise in various topics. Joe Green is one of those speakers. He says it could take an employer a long time to research what they can learn at the seminar in just one day.

“Whether you’re a business owner, hr person, we have so much material that will assist small businesses in doing their business concerning: tax and EO law, employment law, discrimination in the workplace.”

The workforce commission is holding similar seminars across the state.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.