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 or postponement notices directly. Some events may only be open to members of a chamber and a guest, though 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.
Toast of the Town Gala and Awards Ceremony
Thursday, March 28, 2019 @ 6-8pm
Join the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce for this 46th-annual celebration, which includes an awards ceremony, silent auction, and more.
Held at The Stockroom at 230, 230 Fayetteville Drive, Raleigh, NC.
Tickets are $50 per person. Register via this event page, or contact the Knightdale Chamber for more information at 919.266.4603.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 21, 2019 @ 5:30-7pm
Join the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce for this “B.A.H.” gathering at NC Community Credit Union. There will be food and a chance to network and expand your business relationships.
Held at the NC Community Credit Union, 2401 E Ash Street, Goldsboro, NC.
Are You Ready to Start a Business? For Up and Coming Entrepreneurs
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 @ 6:30-8:30pm
This workshop is designed for those considering becoming a small business owner. Learn about the challenges and pitfals, and steps to increase success.
This business workshop will be held at East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale, NC.
For details and to register in-advance, visit this link.
Wilson Spring Expo
Saturday, March 16, 2019 @ 10am-4pm
The Wilson Chamber of Commerce annual Spring Expo is an opportunity to engage with businesses from the area and find out more about local products and services.
Held at the Wilson County Fair Grounds, 2331 US-301 Hwy, Wilson, NC.
See details on the Wilson Chamber’s Spring Expo Facebook page.
How to Start, Grow, Expand and Eatery
Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 6-9pm
When you start an eatery, whether it will be a coffee coffee, cafe, sandwich shop, or catering business, a good start-up plan is crucial. This workshop covers factors to be considered, and attendees receive a guild. Workshop speaker is Steve Carver.
Held at the Small Business Center’s Franklin Campus, Vance-Granville Community College, 8100 NC-56 Hwy, Louisburg, NC.
Register (required) and see workshop details here.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 5:30-7:30pm
Join the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce and Parkstone at Knightdale for this free “B.A.H.” gathering, complete with hors d’oeuvres, raffles, and networking.
Held at Parkstone at Knightdale, 1001 Park Commons Drive, Knightdale, NC.
Register via the link on the Chamber’s event page, or call the Knightdale Chamber at 919.266.4603.
Coffee and History Talk
Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 10:30-11:30am
Join the Farmville Public Library and the May Museum as they host speaker Bethann Wilkie of Ainsley’s Angels, a group of athletes that work with children with disabilities. Learn more about the special needs community and how civic groups, organizations, and religious groups may be more inclusive.
Held at the Farmville Public Library, 4276 W Church Street, Farmville, NC.
Find updates via the Farmville Public Library’s Facebook page.
Annual Meeting and Citizen of the Year Celebration
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 5:30-8pm
Join the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce for their annual meeting, buffet dinner, and Citizen of the Year awards.
Held at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon, NC.
Registration is available via the Chamber’s event page. Fee to attend is $39 per Chamber member, $39 for member guest, or $49 for non-members.
YABA Business Expo 2019
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 4-7pm
The Youngsville Area Business Association (YABA) annual Expo is an opportunity for the public and business people to learn about local businesses and their products and services. Purchase food from one of the food vendors, network, and maybe win a door prize.
Note that for their food vendors and general vendor spaces, the deadline is/was February 22, 2019.
Held at Faith Baptist Church, 249 Holden Road, Youngsville, NC.
Follow the YABA Facebook page for updates.
Food Service Marketing Workshop
Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 5:30-8:30pm
This free workshop is designed for owners or want-to-be-owners of food trucks or restaurants. Learn about marketing a food business.
Held at the Vance-Granville Community College’s Small Business Center, 200 Community College Road, Henderson, NC.
Register via the Small Business Center event site, and see other available free workshops.
Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Friday, March 8, 2019 @ 11am-12:30pm
The Nash County Senior Center invites all to come and see the newly-constructed Southern Nash Senior Center. See the recreation and class space, computers, fitness/game facilities, locker rooms, and lounge with wi-fi. The senior center is part of the Nash County Recreation and Senior Services Department.
This new senior center building is located at 8180 Stoney Hill Church Road, Bailey, NC.
For updates, hours, and more, see this Facebook page.
Distinguished Citizen Awards Ceremony
Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 7pm (6:30pm meet-greet-refreshments)
Join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for this 28th-annual event, which highlights several people who are making a difference in the community. There will be presentations of a Junior Achievement Award and Distinguished Citizen Award. The evening’s guest speaker is District Court Judge Pell Cooper.
This event will be held at Nash Arts Center, 100 E Washington Street, Nashville, NC.
With questions, contact the Nashville Chamber at 252.459.4050.
Spanish for Adults
Thursdays, March 7 through April 4, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Whether for business or individual learning, this multi-week Spanish class offered by Hola Spanish may provide (adults) with basics of the language and beginning communication skills.
Held at Nomaco, 501 NMC Drive, Zebulon, NC.
Business After Hours
Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 5:30-7pm
Tour the Zebulon Rotary Club and learn about their contributions to the community. Refreshments will be served, and this will be a networking opportunity. Organized by the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce.
Held at the Zebulon Rotary Club West Sycamore Street, Zebulon, NC.
Register for this free event at zebulonchamber.chambermaster.com/events/details/business-after-hours-zebulon-rotary-5288.
Quarterly Breakfast: Chamber 101 Roundtable
Thursday, March 7, 2019 @ 8-10am
Join the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce for this free discussion of chamber benefits and networking over breakfast.
Held at the Rolesville Chamber of Commerce, 200 E Young Street, Rolesville, NC.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 at 4-7pm
Join the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce in officially welcoming Pivot Physical Therapy at this ribbon cutting celebration.
Held at Pivot Physical Therapy, 1563 Benvenue Road, Rocky Mount, NC.
Coffee in Uptown Selma
Wednesdays, March 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2019 @ 9-10am
This opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners to gather for coffee and networking. The event is free and open to the public.
Volunteers from the Selma Development Partnership open the conference room for this event at the Selma NC Visitor Center, 112 E Anderson Street, Selma, NC.
Follow the Selma Visitor’s Center on Facebook for updates. First April dates is April 3, 2019.
ECVMM After Hours Event
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 5:30-7pm
Join the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum (ECVMM) and the Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber of Commerce for this after-hours networking time.
Held at ECVMM, 106 W Church Street, Tarboro, NC.
See updates and more via this Facebook page.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 11am-2pm
Join the Zebulon Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting celebration for Enoneo, a new wine and event space in downtown created by Join Chuck Nwokocha and Cecille Mullins. Ribbon cutting is scheduled for 11:30am. Refreshments will be provided at this free event.
Held at Enoneo, 106 W Horton Street, Zebulon, NC.
Coffee Break and Networking
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 8-10am
This Business Alliance of North Carolina (BANC) networking event brings together business owners to share referrals and get to know each other. Held on the first Tuesday of each month.
Gather at Lorraine’s Coffee House, 101 Timber Pointe Lane, Garner NC.
For more information, visit businessalliancenc.com/coffee-break. Future date is expected to be Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
Grand Opening Clayton General Store
Friday, March 1, 2019 @ 10am-9pm
Stop by during the grand opening of this new location for Clayton General Store.
Located in Suite 270, 1025 Outlet Center Drive, Smithfield, NC.
Watch for details/updates via the store’s Facebook page here.
Friday, March 1, 2019 @ 8-9am
Networking event over coffee and doughnuts organized by the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce. Meet and greet for Chamber members, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Gathering is held at Krispy Kreme, 969 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount, NC.
First Friday Coffee
Friday, March 1, 2019 @ 8-9am
Join the Nashville Chamber of Commerce on the first Friday of the month for networking, coffee (provided by a sponsor), and knowledge-sharing.
Held at the Nashville Exchange, 229 W Washington Street, Nashville NC.
Good Morning Clayton
Friday, March 1, 2019 @ 8-9am
Kick-off your morning networking at this Clayton Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) event. “Good Morning Clayton” is a monthly networking event, with breakfast from Huebner Family McDonald’s. Free to CCOC members and first-time guests.
Held at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, 301 E Main Street, Clayton, NC.
Register via the link on this Chamber event 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 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.