Chamber to host forum for minority entrepreneurs


In partnership with First Baptist Missionary Church, the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and Minority Business Outreach Council will offer an Entrepreneurs Awareness and Resources Forum from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Chamber President Grier Blackwelder said the Chamber normally hosts a number of forums and seminars in different locations in the Sumter area, but this will be the first one of these events hosted at a local church for minority business owners.

The event is open to anyone interested in starting a business as well as those who are already business owners looking for tips, advice and discussion about best business practices.

"We've had seminars for people in different places including at the Chamber, but we involved the church and the Minority Business Outreach Council to get more minority business owners involved," Blackwelder said. "I want anyone who is in business now and having troubles and people thinking about going into business for themselves to have the information and resources they need. If we have a room full, that's great. If we only have three or four people, we'll serve them as well."

A number of organizations and agencies will give presentations during the forum including Workforce Investment Activities for Small Businesses, Sumter Small Business Development Center and Services Corp of Retired Executives and South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs, among others.

"I'm extremely excited about this event and the impact it can have on our community," said Rick Jones, Minority Business Outreach Council chairman. "We're bringing together leading small business development, and workforce development experts from across the region in one setting to deliver powerful information that will assist future and current entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses."

The event is free and open to the public, and seating is limited. The forum will be hosted in the fellowship hall of FBMC located at 219 S. Washington St.

For more information, contact the Chamber at (803) 775-1231.

Reach Raytevia Evans at (803) 774-1214.