**Due to the snow received in Eastern NC January 3-4, 2018, note that events immediately following may be canceled. Check with organizers directly regarding weather issues.**
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.
Some 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.
In addition to opportunities listed below, 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.
Events listed below take place around the five-county area — Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wilson counties — and may include these counties plus Edgecombe, Pitt, and others.
On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 8-10am, join the Business Alliance of NC for coffee and networking. Held at Lorraine’s Coffee House, 101 Timber Pointe Lane, Garner NC. For more information, see businessalliancenc.com/coffee-break.
Business After Hours-Zebulon
Start the New Year with the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours. Grow your business in 2018 through the Power of Partnership with this Chamber kick-off on Thursday, January 4, 2018, 5:30-7pm.
Held at Fit4Life, 190 Wakelon Street, Zebulon, NC.
Updates may be posted on the Zebulon Chamber’s Facebook page.
Business After Hours-Clayton
Enjoy an evening of food and networking with the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. Bring business cards on January 4, 2018, 5:30-7pm. Held at, and sponsored by, Matthews Motors, 11315 Hwy 70 West, Clayton NC.
Admission is free.
First Friday Coffee-Nashville
The Nashville NC Chamber holds this networking event almost every month. The next date listed is January 5, 2018, starting at 8am, at the Nashville Exchange, 229 W Washington Street, Nashville NC. Visit their Facebook page for updates and to confirm the date.
2018 Economic Forum & Forecast Breakfast-Knightdale
Get an Inside Look at What Lies Ahead by attending the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Economic Forum & Forecast Breakfast. The morning’s presentations explore economic conditions, trends and outlook for 2018. Connect with business and industry leaders and find out what lies ahead for the nation, North Carolina, and the region. Speakers and guests are:
- Mayor James Roberson, Town of Knightdale
- Representative TBA, Wake County Board of Commissioners
- Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner, Economic Leadership Inc.
“Re-imagining Workforce Development”
- Tom Snyder, Executive Director, RIoT (Raleigh Internet of Things)
“Education, Entrepreneurship & Community Ecosystems”
- Dr. Michael Walden, NCSU Economist
This event is Wednesday, January 10, 2018, starting at 8am with food (continental breakfast) and networking. Presentations run from 8:30am with speakers and a panel Q&A ending around 10am. The location is Knightdale Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale NC.
Attendance is $25 for Chamber members and $30 for the general public. All are welcome. Registration is open and available here. Sign up before December 20 and get $5 off. Registration closes January 3.
Sponsorships are available at three levels:
- Presenting Sponsor — $500
- Supporting Sponsor — $400
- Breakfast Sponsor — $250
For general questions regarding this event, call the Chamber office at 919.266.4603.
The Chamber is online at www.knightdalechamber.org.
Knightdale NC is a growing town located in Wake County, North Carolina just a few minutes East of Raleigh.
John the Clayton Chamber of Commerce January 11, 2018, starting at noon, for the Woodall’s Fitness and Performance ribbon cutting at 107 Best Wood Drive, Clayton NC.
Admission is free.
Business After Hours-Nashville
Join the Nashville NC Chamber of Commerce and Market Leader Realty, LLC on Thursday, January 11, 2018, 4-6pm, at Market Leader Realty, 915 Eastern Avenue, Nashville NC. Network during this Chamber Business After Hours and see their new location. Hors d’ oureves and adult beverages will be served. See www.facebook.com/nashvillencchamber.
How to Pitch Your Business in 15 Minutes or Less-Wilson
The free “how-to” of converting your business plan into an investor pitch. We will walk you through the key critical pieces that are necessary for getting investors. Method built on real-world investment projects from Wake Angels investment team. Scheduled for Thursday, January 11, 2018, 6-9pm.
Seating is limited. To register, visit this event link. Organized with the Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center (BDC) and held at The BDC, 121 W Nash Street, Wilson NC.
Friday’s Focus-Rocky Mount
This seminar by the Nash Community College Small Business Center and Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce will provide practical techniques that you can apply to become more effective in achieving your goals. Learn a simple process for digging out from under the paperwork, tackling the e-mail avalanche, and moving closer to a work-life balance. Scheduled for Friday, January 12, 2018, noon-1:15pm, the speaker is Mike Collins, President of The Perfect Workday Company.
Registration fee is $15 per person. Registration link is available via this page. The workshop location is the Rocky Mount Area Chamber offices, Suite 200, 100 Coastline Street, Rocky Mount NC.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony-Knightdale
On January 12, 2018, noon-1pm, join the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce and celebrate the ribbon cutting for the newest Chamber Member, Knightdale Station Preschool, at 710 Lightrail Drive, Knightdale NC. Come out to learn more about Knightdale Station Preschool programs specifically focused on starting your child off on the right track. Feel free to bring your children and take a tour as a family. Chamber online at www.knightdalechamber.org.
A Guide to Basic Small Business Digital Security-Garner
On Thursday, January 18, 2018, 6:30-8:30pm, at Southeast Regional Library, 908 7th Avenue, Garner NC. This SCORE workshop provides a discussion on the basics of Digital Security, with speaker Norman Smit. To register online, go to this form.
Offered by Raleigh SCORE #0096. With questions, email Bill Wagner.
Raleigh’s Small Business Connect Event
This event is a collaboration by City of Raleigh and Raleigh SCORE, scheduled for Thursday, January 25, 2018, 8am-4:30pm. The day brings small business owners together to find the best resources that they do not know about and how they can improve their business.
Raleigh’s Small Business Connect will feature a variety of local, county, state, and federal resources available to assist businesses at all stages of their life cycle.
Information Sessions include:
- GOOGLE: “How to grow your business online”
- RALEIGH SCORE: “Start your Business/Grow your Business”
- SBTDC: “Connecting Businesses to Resources”
- Bunker Labs: Veteran Resources
DreamFest 2018 Live-Wilson
The live “Shark Tank-like” event is scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 2018, 8:30am- 2pm (note new start time), at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center, 108 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. Hosted by Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center, tickets will be sold for those interested in watching the event and being part of the audience. In addition to the main event, two speakers are scheduled.
Audience tickets are $25 per person, available via dreamfest2018.info. Also on that site, enter to win a free ticket to the event, a $25 value. Winning names will be drawn January 4, 2018.
DreamFest 2018 will begin at 9am with registration and festivities in Historic Downtown Wilson. Historic Downtown Wilson restaurants and retail stores will be open for business, food trucks will be out, and downtown will be alive with much anticipation, music, dance, marching bands, and more.
At 10:15am, settle in at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center and hear two fabulous speakers talk about their journeys in the development of their businesses. Learn from speakers Ken Adelglass (Waxhaw Kid Coders) and Julius Tillery (Farmers of Color).
Around 11:30am, the business dreamers pre-selected will give their Oral Presentations to judges. The judges will rate the oral presentations, add the small business plan scores, and come up with the top three winners. Winners will be announced in the afternoon.
2018 Economic Forecast Luncheon-Greenville
On January 30, 2018, 11:30am-1pm, join the Greenville Pitt County Chamber of Commerce for lunch, networking, and a program designed to provides attendees with high level data and projections for the upcoming year. Local, regional, and statewide projections are discussed along with emerging trends and attitudes toward future growth. Find out what challenges and opportunities lie ahead as our economy continues to grow. Speaker is Dr. Rick Niswander, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance at ECU.
Held at the Holiday Inn, 203 SW Greenville Blvd, Greenville NC, the registration fee is $25 for Chamber members and $30 for non-members. Registration is available here.
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/GreenvillePittChamber)
- 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)
Ed. Note: Published December 19, 2017. Updated December 29 and January 2018 with additional event data.