The Biz: Running, spelling and Twittering

Chamber Challenge 5k on June 4

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce's "Chamber Challenge 5k" is coming up on Friday, June 4. It's designed to promote community wellness through friendly competition between businesses. It's Asheville's only team-based corporate race.

The certified course begins and ends at the Asheville Chamber building and winds through the historic Montford neighborhood. Last year drew over 700 participants. Both individuals and teams can participate.

Training sessions to prepare for the race will be held every Wednesday at the Chamber at 5:30 p.m. and are led by the YMCA. All skill levels are encouraged to participate.

Register before May 21 and you'll save five bucks for individuals and $20 per team. You can register online for the race at

Media Maven Kelby Carr gets social

Asheville's own Kelby Carr (@typeamom on Twitter) will hold a series of classes that will cover the basics of Twitter, Facebook, online video, business blogging and a variety of other social media tools. Carr was named one of the 50 Most Influential and Powerful Women in Social Media.

Carr has networked online since the 1980s on bulletin board systems and CompuServe. She was recently named "Most Social in Social Media" by Mountain Xpress & Blog Asheville. She hosted the Type-A Mom conference, an event that drew hundreds of influential bloggers to Asheville. Previous speaking engagements include BlogHer, Blog World Expo, Converge South, BlissDom and Social Media Business Forum conferences.

For each course, a national expert in social media will co-host, bringing the best of the world's social media knowledge right here to Asheville.

The cost of each of the social media sessions is $50. Those attending all six sessions can register for $200, or three sessions for just $125. For a full course schedule and to register for the classes, visit

Local Businesses sponsor 20th annual "Spellebration"

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will hold its annual Spelling Bee "Spellebration" on May 27 at 7 pm in A-B Tech's Ferguson Auditorium. Fifteen Spelling Bee teams—sponsored by local businesses, non-profits, community associations, colleges, book clubs and others — will compete in the 20th Annual Spelling Bee. Local celebrities competing this year include A-B Tech President Dr. Hank Dunn and Asheville Citizen-Times reporter John Boyle. Corpoarte sponsors of the Literacy Council include Blue Ridge Energy Systems, Bellagio, RBC Bank, Arvato Digital Systems, Greenlife, Laurey's Catering, Sensibilities Day Spa, the Captain's Bookshelf, and the Battery Park Book Exchange.

For more information, contact Amanda Edwards at 254-3442, ext. 206, or by email at The Literacy Council of Buncombe County's website is

Swannanoa Shindig Looking for Sponsors

The Swannanoa Business Association is asking local businesses to consider sponsoring its "Swannanoa Shindig," a weekly community event that features mountain music, bingo and other family-friendly activities. Vendors sell food, farm products and crafts at the event, which is held on the first Friday of each month behind Swannanoa's Main Firehouse on Railroad Street.

Shindig organizers are looking for a coordinator and judges for its pie-eating contest and donations of pies for the pie-eating contest itself. They're also seeking Face painters, jump-rope contestants and bingo assistants.

The board of the Swannanoa Business Association meets the second Wednesday of every month at noon at Moments Café on Highway 70. The meeting is free and open to any individual or business.

Mountain BizWorks offers marketing course

Mountain BizWorks is offering a four-week course on the principles of marketing for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business.  The course starts June 14 and continues on June 21, 28, and July 12 from 6-9 p.m. at the Mountain BizWorks' Asheville office at 153 South Lexington Avenue.

According to a press release, the course will cover the principals of creative marketing and how to craft a promotional strategy intended to stir the interest of customers. In a peer group environment, marketing students can learn the art of marketing, identify and analyze target markets and competition, match vision and image with demand, and determine what benefits the customers desire.

The course will be facilitated by Marilyn Ball, president of 12Twelve Collaborative Solutions, a leading expert in creating partnerships through cooperative marketing strategies. The former president of Kelso Advertising & Design, she has 18 years marketing experience in Western North Carolina in the tourism, economic development, and hospitality industries.

The cost of the workshop is $85 for Mountain BizWorks members, $140 for the public.  Space is limited.  For more information or to register, contact Erica at 253-2834, extension 27 or

Carolina First eyed for possible Fed takeover

According to a May 6 story in the Charleston Regional Business Journal, Carolina First Bank has entered into a consent order with the FDIC that sets time frames during which the Greenville-based bank must improve its capital position or risk takeover by federal regulators.

The bank's parent company, the South Financial Group of Greenville, informed shareholders of the order in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. South Financial expected the order and had previously notified investors that it would likely enter such an agreement this year.

The FDIC consent order requires that the bank improve its leverage ratio and total risk-based capital ratios to 8 percent and 12 percent, respectively, within 120 days. Currently, those ratios stand at 6.88 percent and 10.45 percent, respectively. For the full story, visit

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