Asheville Small Business Week to host forums, give away iPad

Bill Gilliland of ActionCoach shares advice with small business stakeholders. Asheville Small Business Week runs May 2-5 and features a number of free forums that are open to the public. Photo courtesy of Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce

According to the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, a whopping 96 percent of Asheville-area businesses have 50 employees or fewer. From May 2-5, the Asheville Small Business Week event series will focus attention on the small businesses that make up a significant part of the local economy.

All events are all free and open to the public. At the final event of the series, a Business After Hours networking session on May 5, one lucky attendee will win an iPad Pro. For every series event attended, participants earn an additional entry into the final drawing.

Below is a complete list of Asheville Small Business Week happenings; for more information visit the event website.


Kick-off reception: Dedicated to your Success

Monday, May 2 at 8:30 a.m. at Crowne Plaza

During a light breakfast reception, the Asheville Chamber will share results of the Business Walk conducted earlier this year surveying local businesses to gauge Asheville’s business climate.

Generational Impact on Company Culture

Tuesday, May 3 at 8:30 a.m. at First Restoration Services

Boomers. Generation X. Millenials.  Each generation has its own characteristics, and businesses often have several generations represented in their workforce and certainly in their customer base. There are different values and loyalties between generations.

A panel discussion will explore:

  • How is your corporate culture changing?
  • How does this affect your behavior at work or your business?
  • How do we answer these same questions in relation to our customer service?

Panelists include Bill Early of Plum Dog Financial, Scott Finney of Five Step Carpet Care and Alisia Parrott of Everyday Gourmet.

Educational Series: Demographic Trends

Wednesday, May 4 at 8 a.m. at the Asheville Chamber

Chris Cavanaugh, founder and president of Magellan Strategy Group in Asheville, will present an analysis of key demographic trends occurring in Asheville and the United States, as well as his insight into how those trends will shape the marketplace for years to come. Cavanaugh will show attendees how they can respond to these trends and generate a higher return on investment for their efforts. His presentation will be easy to understand for even the most data-averse member of the audience, mixing humor with market intelligence that provides a takeaway for everyone.

Get Free Expert Advice for Business Success

Wednesday, May 4 drop in from 3-6 p.m. at Regus, Biltmore Park Town Square

Bring your notes, ideas and questions to receive qualified advice in brief, one-on-one sessions with local professionals in the following areas of business management: law, accounting, healthcare insurance, information technology, lending, executive coaching, human resources and others.

Experts include: Robin Schuh of Kappa Source, John Noor of Roberts & Stevens, Murphy Capps of Kudzu Brands; Katie Locke of ActionCoach; Blake Butler of Adapt Public Relations; Bill McLean of Bankers Insurance and Caroline Skinner of Tupelo Honey.

Goodwill Business Advisory Council Coffee and Networking featuring Chad Littlefield

Thursday, May 5 at 8-9 a.m. at Hyatt Place Asheville/Downtown

Chad Littlefield, former TEDx speaker and co-founder of We!™, will facilitate a thoughtful, interactive experience designed to break down communication barriers and boost connection and engagement. Chad’s style is lively, highly interactive, and rooted in both research and stories of his practical experiences working with clients. You will walk away from this session feeling energized by the newfound connections.

Family Business Forum: Imagine Success Differently

Thursday, May 5 at 12 p.m. at UNC Asheville Sherrill Center

Butterball Farms, Inc., are makers of artisan-quality butters. CEO Mark Peters, son of founder Leo Peters, has grown the company 700% since taking the reins 15 years ago.

While Butterball’s sweet and savory butters are family secrets, their recipe for success is not: business collaboration to provide reliable jobs and investing in employees to reduce turnover. Check out Mark’s innovative TED Talk “I want lifetime employment (just not with you)” on YouTube.

Come enjoy lunch, hear from and interact with Mark Peters, CEO of Butterball Farms, Inc.
Lunch provided; RSVP required.

Business After Hours

Thursday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Hawthorne at Bear Creak

Culminating Small Business Week, Business After Hours provides valuable networking opportunities for businesses of all sizes. On this evening, the drawing will be held to announce the winner of the Small Business Week prize, an iPad Pro, compliments of First Restoration Services.

About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at

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