Small business owners and the general public are invited to a one-hour, no-cost MI-SBDC webinar at 11 a.m. Aug. 25 to discuss rising tensions between entrepreneurs and customers.

The live panel discussion will feature experts from academic and business perspectives discussing ways to allay frustrations and foster civil discourse and understanding. A question-and-answer period will follow the panel. The webinar also will be available on demand after the live event.

“The topic is all over the news,” says Jim McLain, growth team consultant at MI-SBDC. “Customers are fed up with their buying experience, staff are ready to quit, and entrepreneurs are exhausted since the pandemic. Tempers are running high, and the emotion is palpable.”

The five-member expert panel will include:

  • David Beeson, SBDC Growth Team consultant in human resources.
  • Patty Janes, professor, hospitality and tourism management at Grand Valley State University.
  • Brooks Kindel, MI-SBDC Growth Team consultant in finance.
  • McLain, whose expertise is in marketing and communications.
  • Joe Weaver, associate professor, psychology department at Saginaw Valley State University (host institution to the MI-SBDC Lake Huron region).

“There’s a much bigger societal issue going on here since the pandemic,” Weaver says. “My research interests focus on the intersection of cognition and emotion for topics such as emotion regulation and decision making, so while it’s been a fascinating phenomenon to observe, ultimately my role is to help people better understand each other.”

More information and registration for the webinar is available here.