SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — For the first time since 2015, the Mayor’s Small Business Conference is returning to the Hostess City on Thursday.

Giving local business owners a chance to make their voices heard.

“You know, small businesses are the cog of Savannah. I mean, when you look at why Savannah’s economy has done so well, particularly during this part of the pandemic is because small businesses have kept our burners on, they’ve continued to work. So this is an opportunity for us, not only to bring them together but also to get information out,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

State and local business leaders will be on-hand going over recent workforce trends, like temporary staffing challenges or unusual changes to the hours a business is capable of operating.

“What is very clear is post-pandemic our workforce has changed and so, recognizing that and being sensitive to the fact that your human capital is probably your largest investment in a small business, you want to make sure that, as business owners and operators, you have prepared,” explained MarRonde Lumpkin-Lotson, Business Opportunity Manager for the city of Savannah.

That means knowing what city programs are best applicable for their business and situation.

Johnson says he hopes this event can provide the necessary resources that many businesses are in need of.

“We want to make sure that we’re providing the resources, and really to find out from our small businesses how the city can better help serve them,” Johnson said. “There might be things we can help to do in terms of information, in terms of relationships, in terms of allocation of resources that we might be able to help. So this is our opportunity to hear from them as well.”

The Mayor’s Small Business Conference will take place Thursday morning from 8:30 until 1 p.m. inside the Savannah Civic Center’s ballroom. Registration for the event is closed.