The annual Business Showcase will open to the public this week as Chamber staff then gear up for Business Over Breakfast Thursday, Nov. 4, while Friday, Nov. 5 marks the last day for Small Business of the Year nominations.
First up is Thursday's Business Showcase to be held at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, in which dozens of local businesses will line the exhibit hall and the facility grounds as guests are given a chance to see a collection of Bartow businesses.
Open to the public at 5 p.m., the showcase will last until 7 p.m. Admission can be paid in the form of $2, a business card or two non-perishable food items for local food pantries. Chamber members are invited to a workshop at 1:30 p.m. focusing on the keys to e-mail marketing and local business representatives are invited to network at the Showcase from 3 to 4 p.m. before doors open for the public.
Next week, another annual event, Business Over Breakfast, will proudly feature international speaker Anand Pillai. The breakfast will take place Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn on 411. The event is open to all Chamber members; reservations are required and admission is $15, including breakfast.
"He's an expert in his field, he's well known and this is a nationally, if not internationally, known speaker that we have access to and it's because he's coming to the area for another event," said Kay Read, president and CEO of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce. "Peachtree Planning, who is sponsoring the event, have connections with him and they were able to get him to agree to come to Bartow County and speak, so this is a terrific opportunity for people to hear a man speak on a very important topic who comes from another country.
"And it's always beneficial for us when we're exposed to people with different cultures, a different background than ours. He's going to be talking about leadership and the communications aspect of leadership -- communicating within your company and communicating with customers," Read added.
Chuck Nida, financial planner with Peachtree Planning, has personal ties with the ministry Pillai represents, Haggai Institute. Nida has personally supported the international nonprofit for several years and Peachtree Planning has corporately employed the foundation's leadership development tools.
"Anand Pillai is one of the most recognized leadership development professionals in the world. ... He is a dynamic communicator, I've heard him speak before and being with the Small Business Council I just thought what a great opportunity to have this kind of caliber person just coming through town that has offered his time to share about leadership to our community. At the same time, we'll have a table set up where people can learn about Haggai Institute as well," Nida said. "We have him here to speak on leadership at no cost to the Chamber. ... So, he's going to be with us for two days. Wednesday afternoon at 4 o'clock he's going to be speaking for Cartersville-Bartow Leadership Alumni on Leadership is a Decision. And Thursday morning, he's speaking to the whole Chamber, whoever wants to come to breakfast there, he's going to be speaking on Leading With Wisdom: Effective Communication in the Marketplace and the Community."
The Haggai Institute is founded on Christian principles, training leaders from impoverished nations to more efficiently affect others in their home country. Pillai is a Haggai alumni and is now senior vice president of leadership development for HCL Technologies in India.
Small Business of the Year is an award that has not been seen for many years, but members of the Chamber's Small Business Council are excited for its return. Although the winner will not be announced until January, the last day for nominations is Friday, Nov. 5.
"It's a great program that the Chamber has decided to resurrect," said Saunders Jones III, chair of the Small Business Council. "It's just another way that the Chamber and the Small Business Council can support and recognize the small business owners -- the ones in the trenches."
Spotlighting stories of success, accomplishment and community service, the Small Business of the Year Award will go to a Chamber member business that has shown strength and resolve through this difficult economic time.
Nomination forms can be obtained from the Chamber offices at 122 W. Main St. in Cartersville or online at www.cartersvillechamber.com. After nominations are received, an in-depth application form will be mailed out for the committee to review. Anyone can make a nomination but nominees must be Chamber members and employ less than 50 people. Businesses are allowed to nominate themselves. For more information, call 770-382-1466.
Heading up the sub-committee spearheading the project, Nida commented on the need they felt to see the positive stories that have taken place in recent years and to recognize the success of small businesses.
"We're excited about it, it's going to be announced at the Annual Banquet in January and it's something that we feel like brings encouragement back to the community as far as companies are concerned and we feel that small business is the heart of our community," Nida said. "And that is something as a Chamber we need to recognize and give honor to, and we want to communicate that to our small business owners in our area."