A week for small business

A host of events will be held during Small Business Week, April 19 through April 22. Here are a few. For more details, go to www.smallbusinessweekasheville.com.

Small business celebration

Monday, April 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Local small businesses will highlight their products or services at this fun networking event, hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber Commerce and sponsored by FASTSIGNS. This event is open to anyone in the community. During the celebration, the Asheville Chamber will announce the nominees for the 2010 small-business leader of the year. The recipient will be announced at the Chamber's annual meeting on June 21. Businesses that want to have a booth in the event can purchase one for $50 by contacting Deborah Harris at 258-6117.

Business before hours

Tuesday, April 20, 8 to 9 a.m.

Presented by BB&T, this friendly and free networking event — complete with continental breakfast and coffee — will be held at Asheville Dental Care Dental Care (10-A Yorkshire St., Suite B, in east Asheville).

Search Engine Optimization

Tuesday, April 20, 11 a.m. to noon

Sponsored by SCORE, this event will be held at the Federal Building on Patton Avenue. Most business owners recognize the importance of a high search-engine listing. Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the others rank your site based on relevance-driven algorithms, each containing about 100 different factors, such as the words in your Title Bar and your Web site's name. Not all of these factors are weighted equally. Some have little impact on your ranking while others are critical. This program details the "Top Ten" that will generate about 80 to 90 percent of total results.

Presented by Don Sinclair, this event is ideal for the business owner who wants to evaluate his or her own web site …or a competitor's.
Register at ashevillescore.org. Attendance is limited to 24. An e-mail will be sent confirming your seat availability. Also, keep in mind that the federal building has security similar to airports. A photo ID is required. Allow extra time to pass through security.

Access to small-business funding

Tuesday, April 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

This free panel discussion, sponsored by Mountain BizWorks at the nonprofit's STREET location in downtown Asheville, is titled, "Access to Small Business Funding." Mountain BizWorks' Associate Director of Lending Brian Griffin and Bank of Asheville's Senior Vice President Bill Nesbit will discuss how to access funding in today's market. These loan experts will be joined by two loan clients who will share firsthand information on how to navigate the small business loan process.
To register, call Eric Smythers at 253-2834, ext. 10.


SOS:The art of the business turnaround

Wednesday, April 21, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

This panel discussion, subtitled "Moving from Problems to Profitability" and sponsored by the Chamber Advocates for Small Business, will be held in the Chamber Board Room. It's ideal for businesses needing to identify problems contributing to slow or unprofitable business and to understand how business turnaround specialists can help with the process of improvement. It's also designed to give small-business owners, business turn-around specialists and financial analysts a chance to help attendees identify and stop the problems and issues that contributes to poor business performance. Hear some real stories from business owners!
Register at ashevillechamber.org.

Social Media & You

Wednesday, April 21, 1 to 3 p.m.

Sponsored by The Small Business & Technology Development Center and Mountain Xpress, this panel discussion explores how to use social marketing to grow your business. Today's ever-changing arena of social marketing can be intimidating; so this workshop will map out successful ways to use it. The panel will be composed of small-businesses owners and marketing professionals who successfully use social marketing to enhance their businesses. Get best practice tips and feedback from experienced professionals.

Doing Business with Government

Thursday, April 22, 9 to 11 a.m.

Learn from the experts how to: identify sales opportunities, evaluate federal and state solicitations, register your business, find assistance resources and understand the bid process.

Small business jump start

Thursday, April 22, 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored by AB-Tech's Small Business Center and held at its Enka Campus, this annual event offers current and potential business owners the chance to learn more about the many resources available to them in the community. This event is ideal for vendors who have a product or service that can assist current and potential small businesses, but space is limited and based on the product/service being offered.

Shift Happens

Thursday, April 22
Reception 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Program 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Is the world changing faster than you are?  Sponsored by the UNCA Asheville Family Business Forum, this event poses questions and provides some answers to this and other questions: As business owners, what technologies should you be trying to improve customer service, product quality and impact to the community? Will your business survive the next big shift in technology? Are you prepared? Find out from enlightening and entertaining trend watcher, strategic technologies futurist and author, Stephen Abram.
For more information, call 232-5091. The event will be held at UNCA's Reuter Center, Manheimer Room. Registration is $50 for non-Chamber members, $25 for Chamber members, payable at the event.

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About Margaret Williams
Managing Editor Margaret Williams has been at Xpress since 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987.

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