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 around the area in Edgecombe, Pitt, and other counties.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 29, 2018 @ 5:30-7pm
Join other Chamber members at this Business After Hours event sponsored by Hedrick Insurance Agency, and bring business cards. Enjoy networking, drinks, and appetizers at the Wendell Chamber of Commerce, 115 N Pine Street, Wendell NC. See details on the Wendell Chamber website.
Spanish for Small Businesses
Thursday, March 29, 2018 @ 1-2pm
Free Spanish class to assist businesses in better communicating with Spanish-speaking customers. Candace Casey will teach this free, introduction class at Education Exchange LLC, Shoppes at Brentwood, 2801-2H Ward Blvd, Wilson NC. Other dates may be available. To sign up, call Education Exchange at 252.991.6668. Space is limited. Described on the Wilson Chamber of Commerce website here. To see more class information, visit www.educationexchangellc.com.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 @ 4-5pm
Join the Greenville Pitt County Chamber of Commerce for this ribbon cutting, welcoming Kinetic Pediatric Therapy Clinic, 1330 E Arlington Blvd, Greenville NC. See details at www.greenvillenc.org.
Knightdale Chamber Young Professionals Meetup
Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 8:30-9:30am
Are you interested in connecting and engaging with Young Professionals in the Knightdale area? Then join the Knightdale Chamber and connect with young professionals in the area at this first Meetup. Connect with young professionals and provide input on ways to keep Knightdale thriving. Held at The Coffee Chamber, 903 Smithfield Road, Knightdale NC. Meeting is free. Registration link available via this page. Questions, call 919.266.4603.
Strategic Planning the Right Way – Bridging the Gaps in Strategic Planning and Plan Execution
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 8-10am
This is a Raleigh Chamber of Commerce workshop, held at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 800 S Salisbury Street, Raleigh NC.
In order for your company to grow and prosper, you need to create and execute a strategic plan. This is especially true for companies transitioning from “whiteboard and hallway” planning to a strategy of intentionally developing and implementing goals and objectives. Many executives that grapple with this often go through a planning process – then put the plan on the shelf and ignore it. That approach, by nature, creates severe gaps in their planning and execution cycles and ultimately hinders their ability to grow. This workshop helps executives bridge those gaps.
- John Thrush is a Partner at Brightleaf Consulting Group with over 15 years of experience providing strategic guidance to R&D, technology, manufacturing, and media organizations.
- Jim Toth is the Owner and Principal of Superior Project Services, LLC.
To register, visit the Raleigh Chamber event page. This workshop is free for employees of Chamber members. Non-members contact Raleigh SCORE for limited seating availability. Contact Raleigh SCORE at 919.856.4739.
How to Start a Home-Based Business
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 5-7pm
Many people find working at home the ‘ideal arrangement’ and decide to set up businesses in their homes. Learn the requirements for getting started with a home-based business, including finding a niche, legal requirements, and developing a business plan. Presented by: The Women’s Business Center of NC, and sponsored by Wayne Works Business & Industry Center. Held at Wayne Community College, 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro NC. Register via the Small Business Center Network website.
New Chamber Member Breakfast
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 8-9am
If you are a new member of the Wendell Chamber of Commerce and would like to talk to other members and learn more about what the Chamber can do for YOU, then register and attend this gathering. Hosted by 41 North Coffee Co., 41 N Main Street, Wendell NC. Event registration is here.
Young Professionals Meetup
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 8:30-9:30am
Connect and engage with Young Professionals in the Knightdale area. Join the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce for this Meetup event at The Coffee Chamber, 903 Smithfield Road, Knightdale NC.
Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 11am-1pm
Join the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce for the grand opening of WASH ‘N WAG, the first self-serve dog wash in the area. Meet the professional staff and tour the “see it to believe it” facility. Hosted by Pet’s Best Friend, 1071 N Winstead Avenue, Rocky Mount NC.
Following the ribbon cutting, enjoy refreshments — catered for humans provided by Stacey Graham of Columbine Bed & Breakfast — and dog treats — handmade by Brie Handgraaf of Kansas Sweetie Barkery. See details on this Chamber page.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 15, 2018 5:30-7:30pm
Join the Rocky Mount Area Chamber and Benvenue Country Club for this Business After Hours networking event. Come and mingle and enjoy hors d”oeuvres, beer, wine, and door prizes. Held at Benvenue Country Club, 100 Southern Boulevard, Rocky Mount NC. RSVP requested. See details at web.rockymountchamber.org/events/Business-After-Hours-with-Benvenue-Country-Club-931/details.
The Best Businesses to Start Right Now
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 6:30-8:30pm
“This might be the best time in decades to start a business. What would be the best small business for you to start right now? Would a business bring in extra income or provide a job? Join us and help get your questions answered. The program will focus on four areas: * How to create a business idea that fits you * Businesses you can start for on a limited budget * “Hot” businesses that will grow in coming years. The program will list over 30 types of businesses with growth potential. * 5 easy-to-use steps to starting a business If you think the time is right for you to start a business—you’re right!”
Presenter is Mike Collins, president of The Perfect Workday Company. Held at the Nash Community College Small Business Center’s Continuing Education Building, 522 N Old Carriage Road, Rocky Mount NC. Register via this Small Business Center Network page.
Grand Reopening and After Hours
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 5-7pm
Join the Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce in this grand opening and networking event for Fresenius Medical Care of Tarboro, 120 Hospital Drive, Tarboro NC. This event is free and open to the public. With questions, contact the Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber at 252.823.7241.
PTAC Federal Contracting Basics
Monday, March 12, 2018 @ noon-1:30pm
Each year, the federal government spends billions of dollars purchasing goods and services from businesses. Attend this Lunch ‘N Learn and find out more about how to sell to the federal government. The instructor, Retired Col. Scott Barker, is a Procurement Counselor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Team (PTAC). Held at the Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center, 121 W Nash Street, Wilson NC. For information and registration, visit ucpbdc.com/workshops.
Coffee and Conversation
Friday, March 9, 2018 @ 8-9am
Join the Clayton Chamber of Commerce for Coffee & Conversation, sponsored by First Federal Bank. Bring your business cards, and McDonald’s will provide breakfast and coffee. Held at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 301 E Main Street, Clayton NC.
2018 CWBN Women’s Conference: Bridging the Gap
Friday, March 9, 2018 @ 8:30am-4pm
Join the Chamber Women’s Business Network and Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber to listen to distinguished speakers who will help us acknowledge what we know, open our eyes to what we were not aware of, and how to bridge that gap with our diverse experiences of race, gender, culture & lifestyle. The day will include formal networking time, two major speakers with interactive learning sessions, a celebration for women like us who will be receiving $3,000 worth of scholarships, and a time to fellowship with one another.
Registration fee is $80-$90, students $30. Held at the Johnston Community College’s Public Safety Services Building, 245 College Road, Smithfield NC. See details and register via this Chamber event page.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 8, 2018 @ 5:30-7:30pm
Don’t miss one of the Knightdale Chamber’s most popular networking functions: Business After Hours. Join co-sponsors Zaxby’s and Vardy HPC for this “BAH” at Vardy HPC, 6905 Knightdale Blvd, Knightdale NC.
At this free gathering, enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and register to win great raffle prizes. Network with local business leaders, decision makers and community friends An evening of fun, relaxed engagement in a business-friendly environment with fellow Chamber members If you enjoy socializing and building your business-relationships, the ‘BAH’ is especially for you! Here’s your chance to network and connect with fellow Chamber members, local business professionals and community leaders.. Co-Sponsors Event Media: YouTube Video To Current Calendar
For more information or to register, visit www.knightdalechamber.org/events/details/business-after-hours-vardy-hpc-and-zaxby-s-8101 or call the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce at 919.266.4603.
Seven Secrets to Financial Success for Small Business Owners
Monday, March 5, 2018 @ 6:30-8:30pm
This workshop will be held at Northeast Regional Library, 7009 Harps Mill Road. Raleigh NC. “If you are an entrepreneur and you are not making the profits that you want and need in the business, don’t fully understand the numbers in running your business, and are wishing you could get a better handle on the finances in order to spend more time with your family, come learn the secrets to financial success. Find out what many real-life entrepreneurs learned the hard and expensive way,with easy-to-understand solutions.” Speaker is Sylvia Inks, small business financial coach, bestselling author, and speaker. To register, visit their events page. With questions, contact Raleigh SCORE via email or call 919.869.4151.
Monday, March 5, 2018 @ 11am-noon
Join the Greenville Pitt County Chamber of Commerce at the Greenville Museum of Art, 802 Evans Street, Greenville NC, for this ribbon cutting. Celebration the new McCall Creation Workshop. This will be a space to get your hands dirty and create art masterpieces… a friendly space where all individuals are welcome to generate some creative juices. This space was made possible by McCall Orthodontics. See www.greenvillenc.org/events/ribbon-cutting-greenville-museum-of-art.
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)
Ed. Note: Events may be added and this article updated. If a business event is missing, email details to Kay Whatley at The Grey Area News.