2017-09-14 / Front Page

Chamber of Commerce Week slated; public invited to remember Gartrell

By JANE ELLYN AARON
news editor

Several exciting events have been planned for this year’s Chamber of Commerce Week, as both local business, business owners, and individuals of the public will reap the benefit of the scheduled activities.

“This is a way for us to say thank you to our members, and to promote new membership,” Executive Director John Singleton said. “This week-long event may promote the businesses, but it’s for the public too, so they know all that we have to offer.”

Events will take place Tuesday, September 19, through Saturday, September 23, to which the public is invited to attend.

An open house at The Lost Gold Inn on Tuesday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. will allow visitors to explore Washington’s newest bed and breakfast addition.

Located at 403 E. Robert Toombs Avenue, this 1925 restoration offers a unique charm. Light refreshments will be served.

A special Chamber Member Marketplace slated for Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. at The Pope Center is set to open up several opportunities for community members.

As Chamber members assemble in a vendor’s market setup, the public will be able to peruse with ease the many businesses and what they offer to Wilkes County. Those present will learn what industries and business may be hiring, as well as about new products and services, all in one convenient location. Registration is required.

An informative “Facebook Bootcamp” for small businesses will be held on Thursday, from 9 a.m.-noon to both Chamber members and non-members.

For the course, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Augusta will instruct an intense three-hour course on developing stronger local businesses by cultivating marketing strategies using Facebook.

“So many of our local small businesses depend on Facebook to market, but may often not know how to use it” Singleton said. “This course is designed with them in mind – it’s for small businesses and non-profits to learn how to market themselves and advertise effectively.”

Delving into Facebook basics, the course will also cover how to develop a marketing strategy, how to create a Facebook business page, how to create a Facebook post boost, and how to create Facebook ads.

“The course should debunk the mysteries surrounding these things,” Singleton added.

Those interested in the course must register by September 15 at the Chamber office. The cost is $49 for members, and $99 for non-members. It will be held at the Athens Technical College Washington campus, located at 20 Lexington Road.

Each participant will be given a course booklet outlining the lesson keys, and no laptop is needed to attend. Each participating for-profit business that signs up as a SBDC client will have access to no-cost consulting to help with digital marketing and other areas that business owners may need help in.

On Friday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., a special lamp dedication will be held in memory of former Chamber president Pete Gartrell at the Chamber office. Coffee and bagels will be served as those present remember Gartrell’s service to Wilkes County, and celebrate his ingenuity in creating Chamber Week.

An open house and ribbon cutting for the new Wilkes County Veterinary Service animal hospital has been scheduled for Saturday from 2-4 p.m.

Free to the public, guests are invited to attend an afternoon featuring facility tours, door prizes and giveaways, hotdogs and hamburgers, as the staff of Wilkes County Veterinary Service celebrate decades of animal care.

The facility is located at 1093 Lexington Road.

“We help people all day every day,” Singleton said, in light of not only Chamber Week activities, but the organization’s year-long efforts to improve local businesses. “People often wonder what the Chamber does, and we are constantly giving out information, and expanding our sources and resources to benefit our area.”

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