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 take place around the five-county area — Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wilson counties — and beyond — Edgecombe and other nearby counties.
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.
Regular Chamber member meetings or semi-closed leads groups, are not included in this list. Check with, or join, your local Chamber to find out more about regular meetings near your business. A list of five-county area chambers, and beyond, is included at the end of this article.
*CANCELED* YoPro First Friday Takeover: Lip Sync Battle
UPDATE: This Lip Sync Battle event has been CANCELED and will not take place Dec. 1.
On Friday, December 1, 2017, 6-9pm, head to 170 E Thomas Street, Rocky Mount NC (Booker T Theatre) and join the fun. Always wanted to do karaoke, but too embarrassed? Well, channel your inner Jimmy Fallon and bring your friends and family out to Twin Counties Lip Sync Battle on First Friday. All performers must be 18 and up. In addition to the excitement on stage, the YoPros will be partnering with Station Square Records to host a vinyl record craft night. Create something new out of old vinyl, perfect for gifts for yourself or others. Register for the battle here.
On Friday, December 1, 2017, 11am, join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce in welcoming “I Got You Bail Bonds” — located next to the Nashville Exchange, across from the courthouse, in downtown Nashville NC. Notice is on the Chamber website here.
The Nashville NC Chamber also has a raffle fundraiser going on. Prizes include a carport plus installation, Pelican 50 Quart Cooler, Yeti Hopper 30 Soft Cooler, and $250 cash. Raffle tickets are $1 each and may be purchased at Southern Bank, Jody’s of Nashville, The Nashville Graphic, The Nashville Exchange, MGD Realty, 64 Market Place, Fields and Cooper Law Firm, and State Farm Insurance. Drawing will be December 12, 2017 during the Chamber’s annual Christmas Social.
(Note: Watch for this Chamber’s First Friday Coffee events in the New Year… looks like it will not be held in December.)
The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce invites all to a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, December 1, 2017, 4:30pm, at Farrah’s Weave and Boutique, 115 W Walnut Street, Goldsboro NC. See details at www.waynecountychamber.com/ribbon-cutting-farrahs-weave-and-boutique.
SCORE: Grant Writing I and II
SCORE and Braswell Memorial Library will be hosting a two-part Grant Writing Seminar in December and January. This SCORE workshop will be held in the Computer Lab (second floor) at Braswell Memorial Library, 727 N Grace Street, Rocky Mount NC. Both Grant Writing workshops are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for one or both workshops, which run 6-7:30pm. Light snacks will be provided at breaks.
- Grant Writing I: The Power of Grant Writing will be held on December 5, 2017.
- Grant Writing II: Navigating Through the World of Grants will be held January 2, 2018.
Both programs are presented by Christina Parker. To register, call Joetta Pittman, SCORE Library Liaison, at 252.442.1951 x.239 or email.
On an unrelated note, area small business owners may drop by Braswell Memorial Library (until they run out) and pick up a Small Business Saturday gift bag filled with items to promote “Shopping Small” on November 25. We still have room in our Shop Small Passport if you would like your store to be featured; contact Joetta Pittman at 252.442.1951 x.239 as soon as possible. All are invited to gather at the library for donuts and coffee on November 25, 2017, 10-11am as we help everyone kick-off their shopping small spree. DreamDaze Comics Fun and Games in The Shoppes at Brentwood (Wilson NC) provided the door prizes for this “Coffee and Donuts Kick-off.”
The Business of Craft Beer: Building a Successful Microbrewery
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6-9pm, the Nash Community College Small Business Center is holding this free, focused business training, described as:
Craft beer is a fast-growing business. Learn what it takes to develop a successful microbrewery business from two experts in the field. Attorney, John Szymankiewicz, wrote “Beer Law: What Brewers Need to Know” and is the founder of The Beer Law Center. Four of John’s books will be given in a drawing at this seminar! Audra Gaiziunas, co-facilitator, served as Dogfish Head’s Controller and Mother Earth Brewing’s CFO, until launching Brewed For Her Ledger LLC, in 2013. As a fractional CEO/CFO for craft beverage, Audra has served 110+ brewery and cider clients from coast to coast in the areas of strategic finance, accounting information systems, marketing management, and strategic operations. 70% of her clients are startups.
This seminar will meet in Nash Community College’s 360 Brewing Classroom located in the same building as Rambler’s Bottle Shop, Rocky Mount Mills, 1139 Falls Road, Rocky Mount NC. To register, visit this link.
Dollars & Sense
This workshop is scheduled for Friday, December 8, 2017, 12:30-1:30pm, at Gateway Technology Center, 3400 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount NC. Come and hear speakers Shanna Bottoms and Sarah Strickland, Owners of Taylor Financial Strategies. “Whether you are thinking of buying a piece of equipment for your business or buying a home for your family, you should know how to stay savvy during your financial planning! This seminar will also include being credit ready in order to make big those big important purchases in our business and personal lives.” Register via this link. The workshop is presented by the Young Professionals of the Twin Counties. Find out more at www.twincountiesnc.com/yopro, or on their Facebook page.
Top 10 Strategies to Increase Profit, Productivity & Peace of Mind
This afternoon workshop includes a panel of experts discussing business growth in 2018. Learn how you might increase your profits through simple changes. The workshop is scheduled for December 8, 2017, 12:30-2:30pm. Come early for networking and purchase lunch from food trucks starting at 11:30am. Held in the Classroom at RTP Frontier, 800 Park Offices Drive, Durham NC. Details and registration may be found here.
On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 10am, join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for this Ribbon Cutting for Atlantic Natural Foods, located at 110 Industry Court, Nashville NC. The Chamber website is nashvillencchamber.org.
COMING IN JANUARY: 2018 Economic Forum & Forecast
Join the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce for its annual breakfast. On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 8am, join business leaders and local businesses/residents in the Council Chamber Room at Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale NC. See details/register via this page.
Be among the first to know what to anticipate for your business, our economy and region in 2018! Mark Your Calendars to attend the Knightdale Chamber’s Economic Forum & Forecast Breakfast REGISTER NOW Wednesday, Jan. 10 8 a.m. | Breakfast & Networking 8:30 – 10 a.m. | Speaker & Panel Knightdale Registration Early Bird Discounts ($5.00 Off before Dec. 20th) $25 Per Members $30 General Public (Agenda: Breakfast, Forecast Presentation Followed By Panelist Q&A Session) Early Bird Discounts – Click Here! Join us and be part of the conversation as we hear from a panel of industry leaders and Dr. Mike Walden, NCSU Economist, on the economic outlook and trends that are critical to our state and local economy. Dr. Mike Walden, NCSU Economist
Links are included for business organizations in or near the five-county area of North Carolina:
- 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: Originally published November 22, 2017. Updated December 1, 2017.