Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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For this week’s Chamber Talk, I want anyone in the Lake Gaston region who has a small business, home-based business or who is interested in starting a small business or making their art into a business to join the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vance-Granville Community College and several other partners for an exciting Small Business Summit next Tuesday, October 20. The details of the summit are in the press release below. The Small Business Summit planning committee has worked very hard to plan an exciting and educational day. I guarantee everyone will walk away learning something new.

The following is from our partners at Vance-Granville Community College. The Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center has announced the complete lineup of presenters for the fourth annual Small Business Summit and Expo, which will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Warren County Armory Civic Center in Warrenton.

The Chamber of Commerce of Warren County, the Warren County Economic Development Commission, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Warren County Center, and the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center are partnering with the college to organize the event, which has the theme, “Weaving the Fabric of a Thriving Economy.” CenturyLink is the presenting sponsor. Other co-sponsors are Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, The Warren Record, Hundley's Greenhouses, Inc., The Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer, WIZS, the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, The Daily Dispatch and WARR.

The summit kicks off with a keynote address during lunch by Susan E. Harris, owner of Quilt Lizzy in Warrenton. Her discussion is entitled “Why Your Small Town is a Great Place to Do Business.” For the rest of the afternoon, attendees can choose from among several breakout sessions being held simultaneously.

During Session 1, from 1:15 until 2:15 p.m., the choices are: “Creative Opportunities for Arts and Crafts Businesses in the Community” with professional artist and educator Theresa Brown; “Making Your Business Model Work in a Small Town” with Warrenton town manager Robert Davie; and “Turning Your Passion Into a Business” with Adam Fields, owner of AF Wake & Wakeboard World Champion.

Session 2, from 2:30 until 3:30 p.m., offers these options: “Farm to Fork Enterprise” with Crystal Smith and Paul McKenzie of N.C. Cooperative Extension and Gabe Cummings of Warren FoodWorks; “Emerging Consumer Markets for Agriculture” with Debbie Hamrick, Director of Specialty Crops for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation; and “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

For the third and final session (3:45 until 4:45 p.m.), attendees will select either “Financing Opportunities for Small Businesses” with Barry Ryan of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center and Lou Grillo of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments; “USDA Loans & Grants Program” with Rhonda Pope, USDA Farm Service Agency’s Strike Force Coordinator and County Executive Director at large, Michelle Winslow, Dock Jones and Rob Satterfield, all of USDA/Farm Service Agency, and Lyn Millhiser of USDA/Rural Development; or “Social Media: The Black Hole” with Dave Blodgett of Buggs Media.

Between breakout sessions, attendees can browse through booths set up by representatives of various resources for small businesses. These include CenturyLink, Carter Bank & Trust, Ag Carolina Farm Credit, N.C. Rural Center, North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Warren County, Warren County Economic Development Commission, USDA, Kerr Tar Regional Council of Governments, Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald, Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, Vance-Granville Community College, Vance-Granville Community College Small Business Center, Halifax Electric Membership Corporation, North Carolina Farm Bureau, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development, The Daily Dispatch, WARR, and The Warren County Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the Small Business Summit and Expo is to engage, empower and enrich participants to help make their small businesses more successful. “We welcome all aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners, and non-profit leaders to participate in this inspirational, educational and motivational experience with us,” said Tanya Weary, director of the VGCC Small Business Center. Lunch is provided free of charge by CenturyLink to the first 50 registered participants. After that point, lunch is $10. For more information, call Tanya Weary at (252) 738-3240 or e-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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