A new resource for small businesses kicks off today when the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce launches its Small Business Council.
The organization targeted at small business owners and managers hopes to initiate a well of advice, information and networking opportunities for small businesses beginning with a special meeting this afternoon in downtown Rock Hill, said Becky Adams, chamber vice president of membership.
"We already have strong representation for small businesses on our board. Now, we want to take action steps toward helping small business development and entrepreneurship," Adams said, noting that 90 percent of the chamber's 1,050 members are considered small businesses or entrepreneurs.
Adams said the Small Business Council, which will operate under the umbrella of the chamber, will focus on helping businesses with up to 10 employees.
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Initially, she expects the council to help owners and managers understand new immigration laws in South Carolina, navigate tax issues and learn how to retain good employees. But in the long term, she hopes the council will grow to respond to whatever needs members want addressed.
Wayne Wingate, owner of Durango Bagel, a coffee and bagel shop on Herlong Avenue and chairman of the chamber board, said establishing an effective council is a "high priority" for the chamber.
"Rather than simply starting another new program, we view this initiative as a process to determine the best means of serving a vital segment of our membership and community," he said.
Small businesses will get their first chance to offer feedback on how the council operates and what it accomplishes at an open meeting this afternoon at the chamber office.
Terri DeBoo, director of marketing at Charlotte's All American Roofing and a leader for a similar group in Charlotte, will attend to offer her advice for the new effort.
Adams said anyone interested in joining the Small Business Council or learning more is encouraged to attend.
"We're in the early planning stages," she said. "We are the voice of business, and we need to hear from our members and the community."
WANT TO GO?
The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council will host a kickoff event at 4:30 p.m. today at its Rock Hill office, 116 E. Main St.
The free program is open to all chamber members and interested small business owners and managers. Terri DeBoo, marketing director of All American Roofing in Charlotte, will speak. Participants can also offer feedback on how to make the council a success.
For details, call (803) 324-7500.