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Triangle South, CCCC host summit

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Click to enlarge,  Rick Curl, The Daily Record. Small business owners and resources aimed at helping them flourish took part in the Harnett County Small Business Summit at the Triangle Enterprise Center in Dunn. Above, representatives of participating agencies and interested visitors share ideas and information.

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Rick Curl, The Daily Record. Small business owners and resources aimed at helping them flourish took ... (more)

02.12.2017College & CommunityCollege General

By Rick Curl, The Daily Record of Dunn.

DUNN - Representatives from small businesses met with the groups, businesses and agencies that can help them grow Tuesday evening (Feb. 7) in Dunn.

Central Carolina Community College and the Triangle South Enterprise Center hosted the Harnett County Small Business Summit in an effort to pair local entrepreneurs with resources such as banks, chambers of commerce and governmental resources.

Included among the resource providers were Dunn Area Committee of 100, Triangle South Workforce Development, Harnett County Economic Development, Harnett County Library, Harnett County Development Services Department, NC CEED, Campbell University, Harnett County Register of Deeds, Business Link North Carolina, NC Military Business Center, Harnett County Arts Council, NC Small Business and Technology Development Center and First Federal Bank.

"It's providing all the resources for small business owners and people wanting to start a business," said Mari-inetta Pavlic, Small Business Center coordinator for CCCC and Triangle South Enterprise Center. "It's kind of a one-stop shop for all the resources here together."

The summit was an extension of the enterprise center's overall mission of trying to help owners and would-be owners of small businesses flourish in today's economic environment.

"The goal of the center is to help people with start-up businesses," she said. "We're here for those wanting to start a business or those that have freshly started. And to help them gain that extra knowledge and extra drive to make them more successful as entrepreneurs."

There were around two dozen organizations on hand to provide information and offer their assistance.

"My husband met with one of the small business counselors this year and she recommended this event," said Lindsey McGuire, who along with her husband owns AEDIFEX Forge near Broadway.

"I'm hoping we can talk to people to help us as we move forward," she said. She spoke with the same counselor as her husband did previously.

"I talked to them and they were very helpful," she said. "They gave me another lead on somebody I can talk to about getting more specific information."

Mrs. McGuire's business, which is just over a month old, involves lots of aspects of small business start-ups the summit was aimed at reaching.

She describes the company goals of starting a food processing service that includes both meat and produce grown on their family farm.

"We're looking at a very smallscale meat processing," she said. "We're also looking into freeze drying. There's a lot of you pick berry places that we could say we can freeze dry this then you can sell it as a value-added product. Or allow people to give us produce or food that they prepare and we freeze dry."

One organization that was particularly excited about being a part of the summit was Harnett County Economic Development (HCED).

Small Business Development coordinator for HCED, Nick Dula, said the forum was a great opportunity to not help expand small businesses, but to expand the footprint of the resources that were present Tuesday.

"It's a great way to meet resources," Mr. Dula said. "I like to meet with the different resource providers and talk about the new programs they have to offer businesses."

Mr. Dula considers his agency as a go-between for the two sides to meet and mutually benefit.

"We're the broker, we're the connector," he said. "So we just want to connect our businesses with all of the resources available to them. So this is a great opportunity."

Mr. Dula likes to use opportunities such as the summit to help people who might be considering starting a business get on the right track.

"Every year there's people looking to go into business ownership," he said. "We want to find them, connect with them and help them along the way to have business success."