While much is made of new corporations coming to town and the primary jobs they create, the strength of our Lake Norman economy rests in small business. There are over 930,000 small businesses with employees in the state of North Carolina representing over $20 billion in income. Our small businesses employ 1.7 million people, or 43.3 percent of the state’s non-farm private workforce.
Closer to home, there are 28,500-plus small businesses in Mecklenburg County and over 69,000 sole proprietors. This week, May 2-7, the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 800 business members, will celebrate Small Business Week.
Monday, I joined Douglas Marion, our 2023 Chairman of the Board, as guest speakers at the Connecting Cornelius Meeting hosted by the Town of Cornelius. Tuesday, we held the long-awaited ribbon cutting for HomeTrust Bank, at 17065 Nat Bynum Lane in Cornelius, and that afternoon we held a membership orientation at the Chamber for new members.
Wednesday, the Chamber hosted the Small Business Event of the Year with a lineup of nationally renowned authors, business coaches and motivational speakers in a program aired live on WSIC Facebook Page and 1400 AM, 105.9FM, 100.7 FM.
The Chamber begins the day Thursday with a Professional Development Seminar presented by Lexi Lain, both in person and virtual, “Creating Resilient Leaders” at 8:30 a.m. in the Randy Marion Conference Room followed by a Mixer AfterHours on the Lake hosted by Freedom Boat Club at 5:30 p.m.
The weeklong salute to small business will culminate with a reception Friday at 10 a.m. at the Chamber honoring the Outstanding Small Business of the Year in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Iredell County.
Later this month, Thursday, May 12, the Chamber will hold a Business AfterHours at First Reliance Bank in Mooresville from 5:30-7 p.m. and a Business Mixer Thursday, May 19, at 5:30 pm at Hinds’ Feet Farm in Huntersville.
The Chamber’s Focus Friday on May 20 will feature North Carolina Sen. Mike Lee, chair of the Senate Education Committee. That virtual presentation takes place at 8:30 a.m. The Chamber continues its focus on legislation when United States Sen. Thom Tillis speaks to the Chamber’s Membership noon at NorthStone Country Club.
Other May events include Women’s Networking event (8:30 a.m) and Young Professional’s monthly meeting (6:30 p.m.) on Tuesday May 10, CPR Program May 14, Ribbon Cutting Grand Opening for Pinspiration LKN Monday, May 23, and the GCG Homecoming Event and Open House Tuesday, May 24.
For a complete and detailed list of all chamber activities, programs and networking events visit lakenormanchamber.org.
– Bill Russell is president and chief executive officer of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce. This is part of a series of Citizen columns from regional business service agencies.