BizFest offers networking for businesses, community


By Wendy Byerly Wood - [email protected]



Julian Charles has a booth at BizFest with pictures of his photography during the 2014 event.


File photo | The Tribune

Todd Tucker leads as moderator in a panel discussion at the 2014 BizFest at The Liberty in Elkin with Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital; Sean Peters, VP of Operations for MVP International; Scott Needham, owner of The Living Room Coffee House and Wine Bar; and Ken Gulian, owner of Round Peak Vineyards and Skull Camp Brewery.


File photo | The Tribune

Businesses and their members network at The Liberty in downtown Elkin during BizFest 2014.


File photo | The Tribune

The Liberty banquet hall will be bustling with activity next Thursday as the fifth annual BizFest will take place, allowing businesses and members of the public to network and share their services and products.

Forty exhibitors are slated to set up at tables for BizFest, from area banks to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital to marketing companies and beyond, said Emily Venable with the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, who is coordinating the event.

“BizFest is to celebrate and increase awareness of products and services located in Surry County,” said Venable. “The reason why we want to do BizFest is to provide opportunities for businesses to do local business with each other.

“The benefit is the networking, to network with other businesses and learn about their services,” she said of why area businesses and members of the public should attend the free event.

Businesses who are members of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Surry County EDP were eligible to rent an exhibitor space for BizFest, and those available spots are full.

Venable said businesses from Elkin and Mount Airy will be displaying their offerings, with some being long established companies like WorkForce Unlimited and Pine State Marketing, and others being new companies like & Marketing of Cana, Virginia, who will use BizFest as an awareness event to share with the community what the company can offer.

“Johnson’s Extreme Wash has success stories every year,” she said of what businesses get out of participating in BizFest, whether as an exhibitor or just attending. “They’ve told me just from BizFest they get several new clients each year, because the clients come and learn about all new services they can provide.”

In addition to the exhibiting from noon to 6 p.m., a kick-off celebration and seminar will take place in the Roth Room adjacent to The Liberty banquet hall from noon to 1:30 p.m. The seminar will featuring Chisa Pennix-Brown on how companies can “Power Up Your Marketing,” and is sponsored by WorkForce Unlimited and The Small Business Center of Surry Community College.

“With over 13 years of experience in business coaching, community outreach and social media insight, CEO Chisa D. Pennix-Brown has transformed a passion and long-time vision of helping others into Lady Bizness, an organization committed to entrepreneurship opportunities and business development for branding, social engagement, and marketing,” according to the brochure on the BizFest event.

Also, part of the day’s activities will be a Business After Hours hosted by the town of Elkin and Duke Energy from 4 to 6 p.m. Exhibitor booths will be open during the Business After Hours as well, Venable said.

The entire day’s activities are open to any business or individual who wishes to attend. Organizers do ask for those attending the seminar bring a business card for admission.

Also, Venable encouraged those attending BizFest to bring plenty of business cards. “That’s going to be your ticket to get door prizes for drawings held throughout the day,” she said. “Bring enough business cards to share at the booths, because they are collecting those as well to follow up with the people they speak with.”

This is the fifth year of BizFest, and the second year it’s been held in Elkin. Its first three years and last year, it was held at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy.

Venable said BizFest at both locations is very well attended.

Sponsoring this year’s BizFest are Surry Telephone Membership Corporation, The Liberty, WorkForce Unlimited, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Pine State Marketing, Allstar Rentals, Cooke Rentals, Small Business Center, Duke Energy and the town of Elkin.

The Liberty is located at 222 E. Main St., Elkin.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Julian Charles has a booth at BizFest with pictures of his photography during the 2014 event.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_ArtistJullianCharlesatBizFest.jpgJulian Charles has a booth at BizFest with pictures of his photography during the 2014 event. File photo | The Tribune

Todd Tucker leads as moderator in a panel discussion at the 2014 BizFest at The Liberty in Elkin with Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital; Sean Peters, VP of Operations for MVP International; Scott Needham, owner of The Living Room Coffee House and Wine Bar; and Ken Gulian, owner of Round Peak Vineyards and Skull Camp Brewery.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_PanelatBizFest.jpgTodd Tucker leads as moderator in a panel discussion at the 2014 BizFest at The Liberty in Elkin with Paul Hammes, CEO of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital; Sean Peters, VP of Operations for MVP International; Scott Needham, owner of The Living Room Coffee House and Wine Bar; and Ken Gulian, owner of Round Peak Vineyards and Skull Camp Brewery. File photo | The Tribune

Businesses and their members network at The Liberty in downtown Elkin during BizFest 2014.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_BizFestpix2.jpgBusinesses and their members network at The Liberty in downtown Elkin during BizFest 2014. File photo | The Tribune

By Wendy Byerly Wood

[email protected]

Elkin Tribune
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