Chamber celebrates small business next month

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Small Business Month is around the corner and the Wilson Chamber of Commerce has a full lineup of events for companies of all sizes.

“It’s an understatement to call small business an engine of our economy,” chamber President Ryan Simons said. “Chamber membership is a useful indicator, and as much as 90% of our members have fewer than 25 employees. We owe it to them to acknowledge their contributions, and provide them with tools and resources they need to be successful.”

The festivities kick off with the Small Business Banquet at noon May 8 at the Wilson Country Club. Tickets are $20 and Will Farris with Farris & Farris Attorneys will be named the small business leader of the year.

“Few events are as anticipated as awarding the small business leader of the year award,” Simons said. “It’s a special honor and one that has been conferred on some of the most respected business people in Wilson. I’m proud we finally get to recognize Will Farris for the work he does daily to make Wilson a better place.”

At noon on May 9, Wilson Medical Center CEO Mark Holyoak will be the keynote speaker at a free lunch at the chamber where he’ll discuss the $120 million renovation underway at the hospital as well as the economic impact of a healthier community.

During the week of May 13, the chamber is throwing support behind community partners like the Small Business Center at Wilson Community College, the Upper Coastal Plains Business Development Center and Wilson Downtown Development Corp. A full itinerary of events with these partners will be released at a later date.

The community is invited to an open house at 5:30 p.m. on May 23 at the chamber.

“Since 1897, the Wilson Chamber of Commerce has been the leading voice of the Wilson business community,” Simons said. “We’re using this opportunity to reintroduce the benefits and services we provide to our members, and unveil a new brand identity that better reflects the invaluable role a strong local chamber of commerce plays in developing a robust market.”

A variety of businesses will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 28 when the chamber conducts a Ribbon-Cutting Rodeo with a new business and ribbon-cutting every hour throughout the day.

“The Ribbon-Cutting Rodeo is one of the more creative approaches to celebrating Small Business Month that we’ve ever tried,” Simons said. “While we’re always excited to welcome new members, this is going to be a unique and special way to thank small businesses for the contributions they are making in our community.”

The month of festivities concludes with Chamber Night at the Tobs at 7 p.m. May 30 where chamber members and their employees can purchase tickets to the game for $1 by calling the Tobs box office at 252-291-8627.

“I’m confident that each of the programs offered during Small Business Month will resonate with anyone who has run a small business or thought about starting one,” Simons said.

Visit www.wilsonncchamber.com for more information or to register for the Small Business Banquet on May 8, the “Business of Healthcare in Wilson” luncheon on May 9 or the open house on May 23.