Compiled by Kay Whatley, Editor
Area Chambers of Commerce, business groups, local businesses, and 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 into Edgecombe, Wayne, and other eastern North Carolina counties.
Be sure to register with meeting organizer(s) to ensure receipt of cancellation/postponement notices directly. Some events may only be open to members of a chamber and a guest, although we strive to exclude Chamber-only events.
Business information is gathered from public notices shared by chambers and others.Events may be added; send notices to the editor.
Events are listed in date order, bottom-to-top.
Instagram 101 for the Small Business Owner
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 @ 6-9pm
This workshop by the Nash Community College Small Business Center covers Instagram and how to use it for business information. Bring a device with you as there will be hands-on activities. Held at Station Square, 301 S Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC. See details and register here.
Nashville Ribbon Cutting
Wednesday, May 22, 2019 @ 1pm
Join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for this ribbon cutting for Jen Deal, CPA. Location is the Abernathy House, 302 W Washington Street, Nashville, NC.
Networking with Purpose Workshop
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 11:45am-1pm
Learn how to turn every networking opportunity into profitable business relationships and… have fun doing it. Presenter Kim Niskey will teach practical networking strategies and methods about how to become a key resource in the community through building relationships. Bring your own lunch; beverages provided. Address is 401 Circle Drive, Garner, NC. This event is free for Chamber members and non-members, but registration is required. Register here.
CWBN Women’s Conference
Friday, May 17, 2019 @ 8:30am-4pm
Join the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce for this day-long interactive event. Hear nationally recognized motivational speaker Amy Edge of the Leading Edge Institute deliver the keynote address. Fee is $85-$95 per person. The Farm at 95, 215 Batten Road, Selma, NC. See more details and reserve a seat here.
Reverse Raffle and Cuisine of Clayton
Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 6-9pm
Join Clayton Chamber of Commerce for its third-annual Reverse Raffle and Cuisine of Clayton. Held at Deep River Brewing Company, 700 W Main Street, Suite 102, Clayton, NC. This is a fundraiser benefiting the Clayton Chamber’s work in the community, which includes business advocacy, economic development, and education. Tickets with a chance to win $10,000 are only $100 and include food, 1 drink, live music, and fun. Also available are $20 guest tickets (food only). For contact information to purchase tickets, see here.
Garner Business After Hours
May 16, 2019 @ 5:30-7pm
Join the Garner Chamber for this B.A.H. networking event, sponsored by Fidelity Bank. Address is 919 Hwy 70 West, Garner, NC. Details and registration here.
Youngsville Business After Hours
Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 5-7pm
Come to this B.A.H. networking event and help Paws For Life NC by bringing a donation of dog/cat food or pet-related items. Hosted by Re/max Reliance, Suite 200, 20 Gatekeeper Drive, Youngsville, NC. Follow the Youngsville Area Business Association (YABA) on Facebook for updates. See more about Paws For Life NC at pawsforlifenc.org.
Get Your Agriculture Business on Facebook
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 6-8pm
Learn how to use a Facebook Page for your agricultural business. This hands-on seminar will cover page creation, branding, engaging customers, scheduling posts, and growing your ag business using Facebook. Organized by the Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center in Franklin County, NC. Register in-advance for this free seminar and view location details via this link. [Ed. Note: Two online event postings conflict, listing different locations. If registering, check with the Small Business Center to confirm address.]
Good Morning Clayton
Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 8-9am
Join the Clayton Chamber of Commerce for this networking event and kick off your morning with business news, an opportunity to talk about your business, and networking over breakfast. Note that this event is free and open to Clayton Chamber members and first-time guests. Held at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 301 E Main Street, Clayton, NC. Register here.
Square Talk: Starting & Running a Business
Thursday, May 9, 2019 @ 5-7pm
Join the Garner Chamber of Commerce at this networking and learning opportunity. Discuss resources available for those in business or planning to start one. Gather at Aversboro Square, 1401 Aversboro Road, Garner, NC. See details and register here.
Wilson Small Business Month Celebration
May 8, 9, 13-17, 23, 28, and 30, 2019
The Wilson Chamber of Commerce will be holding a cluster of events in May to celebrate Small Business Month. This includes a “Ribbon Cutting Rodeo” at several locations, a banquet, an open house, a showcase, and more. See all events (flyer) at www.wilsonncchamber.com/small-business-month.
Downtown Garner Ribbon Cutting
Monday, May 6, 2019 @ noon
Help the Garner Chamber of Commerce kick off National Small Business Week in downtown Garner with a mayoral proclamation and ribbon cutting for Gear Works, located at 120 E Main Street, Garner, NC, followed by a tour of their business. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Fired Up Pizza and BBQ food truck. See details and register here.
First Friday Coffee
Friday, May 3, 2019 @ 8-9am
These gatherings are held monthly on the first Friday. Come and network at the Nashville Exchange, 229 W Washington Street, Nashville, NC.
Chamber Coffee Connections
Thursday, May 2, 2019 @ 8-9:30am
Join the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce and Coates Hearing Clinic, PA for this Chamber networking event. Bring business cards, take the opportunity to introduce yourself, and meet other business people from the area.
Hosted by Coates Hearing Clinic, 1652 E Booker Dairy Road, Smithfield, NC.
Road Map to Marketing Any Business
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 @ 6:30-8:30pm
This SCORE workshop will cover pros/cons of software for websites, customer relationship management, email, and ads, plus developing leads, data organization, and other business tools. Held at East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale, NC. See details and register here.
Coffee in Uptown Selma (CANCELED)
Wednesdays, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2019 @ 9-10am
This coffee-time gathering is held weekly and open to the public. Come and network with local entrepreneurs, business owners, and others. Organized and hosted by the Selma Visitor Center, 112 E Anderson Street, Selma, NC. Follow the Visitor Center on Facebook for possible updates.
Coming in June:
- Business After Hours — Thursday, June 6, 2019 @ 5:30-7pm — Join the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce for this event with the Carolina Mudcats. Held at Five County Stadium, 1501 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon, NC. Info here.
SCORE organizes business-educational events around the area. 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 eastern NC. 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 Fayetteville Chamber — www.faybiz.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/FayettevilleRegionalChamber)
- Greater Franklin County Chamber — www.franklin-chamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheGreaterFranklinCountyChamber)
- Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce — www.greenvillenc.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GPCChamber)
- Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce — www.kinstonchamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/kinstonchamber)
- 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)
- Triangle East Chamber of Commerce — www.triangleeastchamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/triangleeastchamber)
Formerly the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Wake Forest Area Chamber of Commerce — wakeforestchamber.org
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WakeForestAreaChamberofCommerce)
- Wayne County Chamber of Commerce — www.waynecountychamber.com
(Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WayneCountyChamberofCommerce)
- 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, update, and this article revised. If a business event is missing, email details to Kay Whatley at The Grey Area News.