Acting Purchasing Manager
Your Small Biz Update
From Clark County Purchasing
November 2, 2020

November will be a busy month for our community!  Clark County is working hard to prepare for the November 3rd election and looking forward to observing the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26th. This month also brings some prime opportunities for small businesses to get off to a strong start on holiday sales. Included In this issue of the Small Biz Update, is a list of dates designed specifically to generate support for small companies.

Also in this issue, we'll check in with a Clark County small business training graduate whose company is going strong; and registration is now open for BDAC's 3rd Annual SBOP Alumni and Friends Mixer. Be sure to reserve your space before the event is filled!

As always, if you have questions about purchasing guidelines and procedures or feel our Purchasing team can be of assistance, please be sure to let us know. Email [email protected] or call (702) 455-2897. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

To your success, 

Adriane Garcia, MPA, CPPB

Acting Purchasing Manager
Clark County Purchasing and Contracts
Hard Work, Relationships, Key to Growth
County Small Business Training Grad Shares His Journey
 AA Printing Service has provided same-day and next-day printing for Las Vegas area residents, businesses, and visitors for nearly a decade. AA Printing Service owner and former Army Sergeant John Pinnington, who served 10 years in the British military specializing as a hand-to-hand combat instructor, developed his entrepreneurial spirit as a child.  

“I always had a vision of one day owning a business. I had a tough upbringing, knew what it was like to struggle for food, and never wanted my family to experience that again,” said Pinnington.
From shining shoes to taking on odd jobs in his youth, Pinnington did everything he could to help his family survive. He said the military is the best thing that ever happened to him because it helped him organize his natural drive and prepared him to build his career into something better. 
“After the military, I went into bodyguarding in London, Los Angeles, then Las Vegas, where I went into multi-level marketing,” said Pinnington. “I needed marketing materials right away and couldn’t find anyone to deliver printing when I needed it. That was in 2008, during the recession. I realized there was a niche to fill because there were probably other people frustrated and looking for a printer. I decided to go into same-day printing because everyone in Vegas needs something now.”
In the beginning, without a shop or printer, Pinnington went to work building a customer base. He identified businesses that needed printing, wrote up orders, partnered with established companies to do the printing, then personally hand-delivered rush jobs himself. When the opportunity arose, he leased a space and launched with just one employee, growing to a team of five today.

The company holds several certifications including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Airport Concessions DBE (ACDBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE). Several organizations including local chambers of commerce, the Small Business Administration, and noted publications have recognized Pinnington with more than a dozen honors and awards for small business and entrepreneurial excellence. Three years ago he launched a second company, AA Custom T-shirts, offering screen-printing, direct garment, and embroidery.
“We went through a couple of years of headaches because it is hard work. If you want to be successful you’ve got to work hard,” he explained.  
Pinnington learned early on that, aside from delivering excellent service, the most important part of building a business is relationships. He grew his company by networking everywhere, starting early each morning, and late into the evening. 
While networking he discovered Clark County’s small business training program, enrolled, and found it to be a valuable resource for making new connections. For more than a decade, the County’s small business training programs have included mentoring and relationship-building activities designed to help suppliers grow their businesses and compete for government contracts.
“It got me in the door of doing business with Clark County and taught me how to try to get business with the County, I can approach them without feeling intimidated,” Pinnington explained.
He added, “The program is good for any small business looking for knowledge and the connections you need to grow a business. There were struggles I had, that other businesses in the program had experienced, and hearing from those business owners helped me. We were able to get knowledge from people who are actually running a business.” 
Asked about the best business advice he has ever received, Pinnington said it is the advice that has helped his company continue to do well throughout the pandemic. 

“What I would say is, make sure you have an accountant to make sure your work is in order. It will make your life easier when you need to apply for financial assistance and hard times hit. Know what your limitations are and partner with people who specialize in other areas like accounting, so you can focus on your strengths. Be in a position to survive if you need financial help during the next crisis. I am happy that I can continue to help my employees.” 
Pinnington said he still gets notifications of business opportunities from the County and his company just landed a big order from someone who learned about him through a County small business database. 
The County's current small business training program, SBOP, has paused classes until further notice to ensure adequate resources are directed toward meeting critical COVID-related needs in our community. The Purchasing and Contracts team remains committed to helping businesses that have questions about working with the County. Please email your questions to [email protected] or call (702) 455-2897.

Opportunities to Sell More This Month
Take Advantage of November Small Business Holidays
Each November consumers are encouraged to do as much of their spending as possible with small businesses to enhance the local economy. Special shopping days such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have traditionally helped small vendors attract an influx of visitors to their physical sites such as restaurants, stores, and offices. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations will need to take a different approach to holiday sales and marketing strategies.

The challenge is that COVID-related social distancing measures will make it difficult, if not impossible, for many organizations to repeat proven, in-person sales events of the past. But with a little creativity and careful preparation it is still possible to bring in profits. In fact, financial experts including the Deloitte organization predict holiday sales will increase this year, especially online

If the pandemic has made it necessary to change the way your business approaches holiday sales this year, it may be time to launch or expand your holiday campaigns online. Whether you plan to connect with customers virtually or face to face this season, it is more important than ever to prepare carefully and keep shoppers informed about your efforts every step of the way. Forbes recently offered some helpful advice in this article on tackling the holiday shopping season in the midst of a pandemic.

Consider building a marketing campaign around one or more of the following small business holidays to make potential customers aware of an irresistible offer on your goods or services.

Black Friday - November 27, 2020
Although many retailers start pitching holiday deals well before Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving has been informally dubbed “Black Friday”. It is one of the biggest shopping days of the year as many consumers spend at least a portion of the day in search of savings on holiday gifts. Try creating exciting offers and customer experiences online in advance of Black Friday, perhaps offering incentives such as special pricing to those who buy early.

Small Business Saturday - November 28, 2020
Small Business Saturday is a day created a decade ago, and now observed by businesses throughout the country to attract customers to small business locations in their communities. With limits on how many people can safely gather in one place, organizations may find it more profitable to create special deals and customer experiences that can be pre-scheduled and or purchased online.  

Whether venturing into ecommerce for the first time or building on an existing online sales platform, you will find some helpful pointers in this Small Biz Daily article on preparing for Small Business Saturday online.

Cyber Monday - November 30, 2020
Cyber Monday, which has always focused on online sales, will likely see more competitors online this season as countless sellers are expected to take their offerings online for the very first time, and experienced online sellers ramp up their ecommerce efforts.

If you are not among the organizations that have kicked off early holiday campaigns this year, the best time to start is now. There may still be time to turn a profit, in person or online.

Clark County's Small Business Protective Retrofit Grant
Funding to Help With COVID-related Expenses
The Small Business Protective Retrofit Grant reimburses up to $5,000 for costs associated with COVID-19 related safety measures such as facility modifications, personal protective equipment, screening tools, and more. Approved applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis until program funds are depleted or December 13, 2020, whichever comes first.

Business Building Events
Our Event Partners
Thanks to Nevada Women's Business Center
for providing the online platform for this virtual event.
Selling to government?
Simplify the process.
The Nevada Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and Procurement Outreach Program (POP) provide free services to simplify the process of selling goods and services to government. These programs from the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development provide services free of charge.

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