By Kay Whatley, Editor
Area Chambers of Commerce, business groups, and local businesses/organizations hold educational events and provide free business training or networking opportunities. Events listed below may take place in the five-county area — Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wilson counties — or beyond in Edgecombe, Wayne, and other eastern NC counties.
Events are listed in date order, bottom-to-top. Events may be added; send notices to the Editor.
How to Start a Business
Monday, October 29, 2018 @ 6-9pm
This free event requires registration, available via this link or by calling 252.246.1209. Held in the Assembly Room of the Wilson County Public Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. Attend and learn the basics of starting a business, strategies, financing, marketing, legal issues, and more. Organized by the library in partnership with the Small Business Center at Wilson Community College.
Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting: Bougie Pop
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ noon-2pm
Join the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce at Bougie Pop Popcorn Boutique, 212 Southtown Circle, Rolesville NC, and celebrate the newest addition to the Rolesville community. Enjoy food and networking and check out this shop.
Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting: ParkStone at Knightdale
Thursday, October 18, 2018 @ 5-6:30pm
(Rescheduled from September.) Join the celebration with new Chamber member, ParkStone at Knightdale. Tour one of their lavish apartment homes, the state-of-the-art Fitness Center, and other amenities. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served at this free gathering. The location is ParkStone at Knightdale, 1001 Park Commons Drive, Knightdale NC. Register via this Chamber web page.
Google Small Business Workshop
Thursday, October 18, 2018 @ 3-6pm
NC SCORE, the Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments, and Rocky Mount Mills are partnering with Google to host a regional workshop to help small businesses grow by learning to use free Google online tools. It will be held at Rocky Mount Mills, 1147 Falls Road, Rocky Mount NC. There is a registration link for the workshop on this EventBrite event page.
The program is designed to help businesses get on Google Search and Maps for free. Businesses that have an online presence tend to grow 40% faster than those that don’t. The workshop should help improve local government economies around the region as participating small businesses get the information to accelerate their growth potential.
Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments is a regional council of governments serving Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton and Wilson counties. Its Business Resource Center helps small business owners with access to capital and connects them to an array of free to low-cost small business resources to help them develop and grow their business.
Triangle East Business Expo
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 @ 11am-8pm
The public is invited to come and peruse the 50+ businesses under a “big top” in the parking lot of Carolina Premium Outlets, 1025 Outlet Center Drive, Smithfield NC. Live music 5-8pm by The Main Event band. Organized by the Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce. Admission is free. Event details and vendor information may be found here.
Small Business Summit: Making Your Dream a Reality
Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 5-8pm
Entrepreneurs, small business owners, nonprofit leaders, or those aspiring to be are invited to attend. Network, find out about available resources, and enjoy dinner too. Hosted by Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center, the event will be held at the Warren County Armory Civic Center & Economic Development, 501 US Hwy 158 Bus E, Warrenton NC. This 7th-annual summit is a free event including dinner; however, registration is required and seating is limited to 50 people.
Write a Success Business Plan
Thursday, October 11, 2018 @ 6:30-8:30pm
Learn the steps for creating a business plan, and setting your business off on the right track. This free business workshop will be held at the Southeast Regional Library, 908 7th Avenue, Garner NC. Instructed by Jess McLamb of The Roper Group Inc. Register via the Raleigh SCORE website.
Business After Hours: Access Physical Therapy & Wellness
Thursday, October 11, 2018 @ 5:30-7:30pm
Don’t miss this popular, and free, networking event. Gather at Access Physical Therapy & Wellness. 502 McKnight Drive, Suite 103, Knightdale NC. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and register for raffle prizes. Network and connect with other business people. The “Register Now” link is available from this Chamber web page.
Grow Your Small Business by Making Relationships Magical!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 @ 2-5pm
(Rescheduled from earlier in October.) This is a free seminar open to chamber members and the business community. Offered by the Nashville NC Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with NashArts, this high-energy, sometimes theatrical session is designed to elevate and inspire you to “create lasting relationships with your customers, vendors, and team to build a lifetime of loyalty.” This event will be held at the Nash Arts Center, 100 E Washington Street, Nashville NC. Register via this Small Business Center Network event page.
A Very Unique CCOC Business After Hours
Thursday, October 4, 2018 @ 5:30-7pm
Gather at Southside Community Church, 299 Carlton Street, Clayton NC, for a Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) networking event and murder mystery dinner by Solace Theater performers. Bring business cards to swap. There will be food and drink provided. Prize for the person who solves the mystery. This interactive event is free, but registration is required and available via this web page.
Some business-educational events are organized by SCORE at area locations. SCORE — the Service Corps of Retired Executives — is a nonprofit association dedicated to “helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.” More information about SCORE is online at www.score.org.
NC Small Business Center Network
In addition to opportunities listed, North Carolina’s community colleges offer free business workshops across the state. Find free “Small Business Center Network” classes by searching at www.ncsbc.net. Topics cover finance, marketing, fundraising, and general business/nonprofit issues alongside specialized classes such as food business creation.
The list below includes business organizations in or near the five-county area of North Carolina. Regular chamber member meetings or semi-closed leads group meetings are not included above, but may be found via the links below. Check with, or join, your local Chamber to find out more about regular meetings near your business.
- Bailey Chamber of Commerce — baileychamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/baileychamberofcommerce)
- Business Alliance of North Carolina — businessalliancenc.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BusinessAllianceofNC)
- Clayton Chamber of Commerce — www.claytonchamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Clayton-Chamber-of-Commerce-327576612814)
- Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce — www.farmvillencchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/farmvillencchamber)
- Greater Franklin County Chamber — www.franklin-chamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheGreaterFranklinCountyChamber)
- Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce — www.smithfieldselma.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/smithfieldselmachamber)
- Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce — www.greenvillenc.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GPCChamber)
- Knightdale Chamber of Commerce — www.knightdalechamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KnightdaleChamberofCommerce)
- Nashville Chamber of Commerce — nashvillencchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nashvillencchamber)
- Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce — www.rockymountchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rockymountchamber)
- Rolesville Chamber of Commerce — rolesvillechamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rolesvillechamber)
- Spring Hope Area Chamber of Commerce — www.facebook.com/SpringHopeChamberOfCommerce
- Tarboro Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce — www.discoveredgecombe.com
(Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/tarboroedgecombe, www.facebook.com/Discover-Edgecombe-1470928686487184)
- Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce — wakeforestchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WakeForestAreaChamberofCommerce)
- Wendell Chamber of Commerce — www.wendellchamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WendellChamberOfCommerce)
- Wilson Chamber of Commerce — www.wilsonncchamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Wilson-Chamber-of-Commerce-81297209199)
- Zebulon Chamber of Commerce — zebulonchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/zebulonchamber)
Ed. Note: Events may be added, update, and this article revised. Be sure to register with meeting organizer(s) to ensure you receive cancellation or postponement notices directly from them.
Business information gathered from public notices shared by chambers and others. If a business event is missing, email details to Kay Whatley at The Grey Area News.