Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Minority Limousine Operators of America (MLOA) spoke and its board listened: In an effort to meet members’ interest in becoming eligible to land both government and corporate contracts, the association has launched a program to help them navigate the paperwork and procedures necessary in applying for 8a certification through the Small Business Association.

Run by MLOA’s Executive Director Dr. Yvonne LaMar of LimousineQA.com, the four-session program began January 12 and will address each section of the application (company questions, history, and financials) with each “teleseminar,” as well as provide an introduction that includes a comprehensive overview of what’s needed to complete the application.

“The certification program is a series of workshops that use materials I’ve helped people with before,” LaMar said. “We go over a different section of the application each session so by the last one, the applications will be complete and members will be able to submit them.”

With 19 members sitting in on the introductory call and four participating in the subsequent sessions, LaMar feels that the program eliminates a lot of the stress that paperwork tends to create.

“During our introduction call, I just told everyone what’s in the application and what to expect, and I think that took away a lot of the anxiety people had about the process because they were anticipating something huge,” she said. “For the people who didn’t sign up for the actual sessions, I think that was all they needed.”

The teleseminar’s small group of participants has allowed LaMar to zero in on concerns specific to owners of smaller operations and tailor the sessions to their needs.

“Because there aren’t many people, it’s really great for having these intense conversations,” LaMar said. “We can stop and spend time on the items that either require a lot of attention or that people may have questions about.”

The certification program is just one part of MLOA’s increased outreach to its members, especially in terms of providing them with more workshops, support, and mentoring opportunities. Last month, the association also offered a 90-minute call-in workshop—Social Media Marketing for Beginners—for the first time, which aimed to help its membership maximize their presence on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

“We’re doing some basic things for people who generally wouldn’t have the time to deeply investigate social media marketing themselves,” LaMar said. “We want to help put them on the social media map.”

The MLOA board itself had a board retreat January 23, wherein an all-day planning session had the directors reviewing the association’s goals and its ongoing mission to meet members’ needs.

The next MLOA general conference call will be March 25.

Visit mlooa.org for more information.

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