published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Workshop focuses on enhancing local businesses
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
AVON PARK - The Highlands County Economic Development Commission is gearing up for its annual Small Business Development Day Thursday. The ongoing event was created to nurture and provide resources for local small businesses and owners within the county.
The EDC has created a workshop that will focus on enhancing businesses around the county by bringing guest speakers and presentations to center stage.
Thursday's event kicks off bright and early with a 7:15 a.m. continental breakfast at the South Florida State College University Center.
"Following breakfast we will move into the auditorium for speakers," said Eva Cooper, executive assistant to the EDC director, Paul McGehee.
Keynote speaker Melissa Medley is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Enterprise Florida. Medley works closely in a support role to the Secretary of Commerce.
"We have a second speaker, Vince LaPresley, who will also speak," Cooper said.
Presentations will be given for attendees during the event, showcasing business strategies, resources and much more.
Following speakers and presentations, there will be a marketing workshop hosted by the Small Business Development Center and Constant Contact.
"From 10 (a.m.) until about 12:30 (p.m.) there will be a comprehensive marketing workshop. Constant Contact will be here to conduct that and help out businesses," Cooper said.
The annual EDC Business Development Day also brings to the spotlight local businesses. Two of the three awards the EDC gives out each year will be presented during the workshop.
"The Start Up Business of the Year Award and the Small Business of the Year Award will be given out Thursday. Our third award, the Business Excellence Award, is given out at our banquet in the fall," Cooper said. "We receive nominations for the awards from all of the chambers. Then we narrow it down, our board looks over the nominations and we make a decision. It's all a big secret, so we are excited about it."
Approximately 100 individuals were in attendance during last year's EDC Business Development Day. Cooper is hopeful that the numbers will stay just as strong this year.
"We sent a blanket out over the county. We contacted all the chambers and they put out invites to all of their companies and businesses in the county. So we covered the county and the invite is out there," Cooper said.
The Business Development Day will begin at 7:15 a.m. Thursday at South Florida State College University Center.
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