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Small Business Transformation: An Informal Chat with AWS, AED and Nub8

At the recent AWS Connected Community Fireside Chat: “How One US City Equipped Small and Medium Businesses for a Digital World,” Tara Palacios of Arlington Economic Development (AED) and Federico Decia, CEO of Nub8, discussed their successful partnership to help small businesses transition to the AWS cloud. Introduced by Claire Gribbin, Global Head of SMB Customer Segment at AWS, the conversation delved into crucial aspects of this collaboration, highlighting the unique perspectives of both Tara and Federico. The highlights of the conversation were addressed in the following 6 areas:

1. Bilingual Advantage: Expanding Reach and Support

The talk began with Tara highlighting the importance of Nub8’s bilingual expertise in English and Spanish. According to Tara, “Having Nub8 as a bilingual partner was crucial. It allowed us to reach a more diverse population of small businesses, breaking down language barriers and making our program more inclusive.”  

Tara Palacios elaborated that many times language is a barrier to being able to help these small and medium-sized companies expand their business prospects. However, because Nub8 is a company that has the ability to work in both Spanish and English, this barrier becomes a strength to support these businesses. 

2. Global presence through digitalization

Federico shared compelling stories of digital transformation of small businesses, exemplified by a jewelry kiosk in a shopping mall. The business, which was struggling due to the pandemic, went viral internationally after launching its online presence. Federico stated, “This demonstrates the global reach that AWS provides. Small businesses can attract international attention, fostering growth and sustainability beyond local limitations.”

3. The power of customization and automation

During the conversation, Tara Palacios highlighted the importance of not only automating and standardizing processes, but also offering unique customization through AWS: “Automating processes is important, but we also need the unique customization that AWS offers. Nub8’s approach ensures efficiency while tailoring solutions to individual business needs.” Federico Decia emphasized the balance between standardization and customization, illustrating how the Nub8 approach enables small businesses to have tailored solutions. Here they stressed that this combination ensures efficiency and scalability while meeting the individual needs of diverse businesses.

4. Leveling the playing field against competitors.

Federico emphasized how cloud technology, particularly AWS, levels the playing field for small businesses, saying, “The cloud enables smaller companies to access cutting-edge technologies, ensuring they remain relevant and competitive in the business landscape dominated by larger counterparts.” He noted that many times these companies may face challenges they previously would have considered impossible, against which AWS solutions were imperative to turn those challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation. 

5. Customer Success Stories: Empowering businesses for a global marketplace.

Tara shared powerful success stories, such as that of an Ethiopian jewelry store and an Ethiopian bakery. Both with results that are testament to how digitization can make a difference in growing a business. According to Tara, “the jewelry store experienced an increase in international orders after going online. These stories exemplify how digitization and cloud adoption propel businesses into new realms of success and recognition.”

6. Evolution and future of the program

The discussion concluded with ideas on the evolution of the program. Tara expressed her desire to continue and expand the initiative, seeing it as a long-term economic development tool. Federico emphasized the growing importance of analytics and security for small businesses. He said, “Analytics and security are crucial to the changing needs of small businesses. Our goal is to provide standardized yet customizable solutions, ensuring ongoing support for their digital journeys.” 

The fireside chat showcased the pivotal role played by Nub8 and AED with AWS technologies in transforming small businesses, making them resilient, competitive and globally visible. The partnership highlighted the importance of language inclusion, digitization, personalization and ongoing support to empower businesses for sustained success in the digital world.  

If you are interested in watching this edition of the AWS Connected Community Fireside Chat, we invite you to watch it at this link: AWS Connected Community – On-demand learning (