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Features 2014 Bizweek events under way this week

Seminars offer best practices for small businesses.

The annual BizWeek has been going on this week with local business owners and other interested individuals attending courses specifically geared to help them learn better practices to be successful.

On Tuesday morning, Martin Brossman conducted the “Shop Local, Buy Local, Invest Local” seminar at Southwestern Community College's Macon Campus. Brossman, who is widely considered a leading authority on social media and online marketing, speaks at many North Carolina community college small business centers throughout the state.

Martin Brossman conducted the seminar “Shop Local, Buy Local, Invest Local” on Tuesday morning at Southwestern Community College. He said a thriving local economy based on small businesses is more sustainable than one that depends on the “big box” stores.Seminars offer best practices for small businesses.

The annual BizWeek has been going on this week with local business owners and other interested individuals attending courses specifically geared to help them learn better practices to be successful.

On Tuesday morning, Martin Brossman conducted the “Shop Local, Buy Local, Invest Local” seminar at Southwestern Community College's Macon Campus. Brossman, who is widely considered a leading authority on social media and online marketing, speaks at many North Carolina community college small business centers throughout the state.

He informed the 16 local entrepreneurs assembled about trends and various approaches concerning social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and other social networks.

“These days, just having a website for your business isn't enough. You have to connect with people who are passing through and can take an in-depth look at your business from a tablet or cell phone and decide whether they want to visit the business,” he said. “I want to help you keep these folks coming back.”

In an ever changing business world, the task of keeping up with the latest technological advances or the newest fads when it comes to building a thriving local economy can be daunting. Macon County BizWeek brings the tools to new and experienced entrepreneurs alike to assist them in being successful in this 21st century business landscape.

“I just come to learn anything I can in order to keep my business up-to-date and successful and these seminars help me do that,” said Suzanne Harouff, owner of Books Unlimited in Franklin. This was the theme shared by many who introduced themselves before the presentation.

The “Buy Local” seminar sows the seeds for a thriving local economy, not one that is dependent on “large box stores” like a commercial retail chain.

Five reasons to buy local were described by Brossman:

1. Reduced shipping distance equals lower environmental impact.

When a person shops local, carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption is reduced.

2. Local dollars stay in the community.

When dollars go to local merchants, they are more likely to buy from other local merchants than large corporate-owned stores according to Brossman.

3. The economic boom and bust cycle stabilizes over the long term.

A locally-based economic infrastructure is less likely to suffer radical oscillations, due to the fact that it doesn't depend on a small number of large businesses for the majority of revenue.

“If a large company comes in that employs a large number of employees, the town becomes dependent,” said Brossman. “Then if they close down the economic impact is detrimental. When a local economy derives its income from a large number of small businesses, economic recessions are less extreme.”

4. Communities have a greater say in their own future.

Economic dependency on a few large businesses shifts political leverage away from the local community.

5. Local pride increases as revenues improve the local environment.

"There is a whole movement right now concerning shopping local. You can't help noticing the current buzz about buying local, re-inspired by deep concern for the environment and the necessities of the economic slowdown," said Brossman.

Other events were scheduled throughout the week such as “Getting More Engagement & Results for Small Biz Using Photography and Video,” also by Brossman, Entrepreneur Networking Night IV with special guest Henry Doss, chief Strategy Officer of T2VC, and the conclusion of BizWeek tonight (Thursday) with a banquet set to take place at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall at Holly Springs Baptist Church. This event will feature keynote speaker Dr. David O. Belcher, Chancellor of Western Carolina University, BizWeek 2014 Honorees and the 2014 Macon County Business Plan Competition Grand Prize Winner announcement. The business plan competition is a project of the Macon County Certified Entrepreneurial Community (CEC) Leadership Team. In addition to the $5,000 grand prize, the 2014 Business Plan Competition offers the tools for success in business.

According to Economic Development Commission Director Tommy Jenkins, BizWeek is a welcome event for those around the county who are looking to strengthen their approach to business.

“BizWeek has an important role in our community by providing business education and networking opportunities, in addition to recognition of those individuals or organizations that play an integral part in local economic development,” he said. “All local businesses, from small to large, have the opportunity to benefit from a week of events designed to help promote and grow our economy.”





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published: 10/18/2013
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