Blount Partnership News & Events

 
If you or someone you know is looking for a job, please check out www.BlountAreaJobs.com. Additionally, if you need employees, please utilize the job board to advertise your open positions. Click here to get started.
 
Be sure to check out our 69th installment of The Dialogue at the bottom of this email where we visit with Zackary D. Peabody, owner of 411 Linen Service (865-983-5407).
 
CHAMBER ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PHOTOS
Blount Chamber 97th Anniversary photos from the Jamie Weiss Photography GiggleBox Photo Booth are now available to view and download.
 
 
SMALL BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS WITH GROWTH WHEEL
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center is holding its next free session on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Blount Partnership (201 S. Washington St., Maryville). Register here.
 
The start-up of a small business does not have to be stressful. Explore your new business idea by applying GrowthWheel and expanding into the big picture. With the help of certified business counselors learn about the necessities of a small business. Topics will include the forms of business organization, tax requirements, business licenses, business planning, and financial options along with loan qualification criteria and opportunities. You do not have to start a business alone because we are here to help.
 
Other classes coming to the Chamber from the TSBDC include:
Business Planning with GrowthWheel on March 16 and Startup with Growth Wheel on April 20.
 
PROMOTE, THEN PARTICIPATE IN OPERATION THANK YOU
Promote your business during "Operation Thank You" by sending 1600 gift certificates, brochures or business promotional pieces to us and we will distribute them.
 
Your Chamber constantly looks for ways to help you promote your business through the ABC theory - Always Buy Chamber. We do ask that your enclosure piece not to exceed 8 ½" x 11". These inserts should be delivered to the Chamber no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, February 9.
 
If you are interested in participating, please contact Amy Lawson or call 865.983.2241. There is a fee of $200 for insert enclosure.
 
Participate in the Chamber's 19th annual "Operation Thank You" set for February 21-23, 2017 and meet other business people on a one-on-one basis.
 
During this three-day event, Chamber members, the Chamber staff and Board of Directors will personally deliver Chamber member information packets. We invite you to join us in this three-day effort. You can agree to call on as many or as few members as your schedule permits.
 
If you, someone (or several people) from your business, organization or group is interested in participating, please contact Amy Lawson or call 865.983.2241.
 
SIGN UP FOR NEXT SOFT SKILLS CLASS
Registrations are currently being accepted for a free soft skills session set for Feb. 24 entitled, "Hiring Good Employees." Finding the best candidate for the job isn't always easy. Bad hiring choices can cost you time, money, and bottom-line results. Join us to learn effective strategies for finding, hiring, and onboarding quality staff.

All classes are conducted in the Blount County Library's learning lab located at 508 N. Cusick in Maryville and limited to 50 participants. Those interested must register online at www.blountchamber.com/community/soft-skills. A complete class description is located on the registration site. All classes run from 8-10 a.m. with networking beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The other classes offered include Managing People & Personalities, Tips for Public Speaking, Hiring Good Employees, Motivation and Burnout, Time Management and Managing Change in the Workplace.
 
GET YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MOVING
SCORE is a non-profit association dedicated to helping new and existing small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.

Greater Knoxville SCORE's 40-plus volunteers have a wide range of business experience and education and provide One on One mentoring for free and workshops for small business and non-profits for no charge or at very low cost.

SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA),

To request assistance, or to meet with a SCORE representative in Blount County visit us at greaterknoxville.score.org or phone 865-692-0716.
 
FEBRUARY MEMBER-TO-MEMBER PROMOTIONS
Take a look at the February Member-to-Member promotions. With nearly 50 merchants participating, there's something for you. Check out the member-to-member promotions. New offers are being posted weekly, so check out the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Member-to-Member promotions online. This Member-to-Member Promotional Program offers you and your company the opportunity to market your products and services to the membership.
 
Here's how it works:
1. Submit a PDF of a service, product or discount you'd like to offer to the Chamber membership to jmuir@blountpartnership.com. Be sure to include an expiration date.
2. An email with all the promotions will be sent out on the final Monday of every month to our member database.
3. All promotions will be posted on www.BlountChamber.com
 
SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUMMER MONTHS
For many small towns, June and July are the peak of tourist season. It can be overwhelmingly busy for local businesses who have limited space and time, but want maximum sales. The following are some strategies to help YOUR local business grow during these busy summer months: Read more

Learn more about marketing your small business in a digital world, ask questions about social media, and take the time to discuss future campaign ideas. What are you waiting for? It's free with your chamber membership. Schedule your FREE session today.
 
If you have any questions regarding your free digital marketing member benefit ( Save Local Now), your digital platform, or online marketing in general please reach out the Blount Chamber's Rachel Coffman.
 
REMEMBER TO SHOP LOCAL
Think local first + Buy local when you can = Being a local!
 
Small businesses have just as much access to vendors (who also determine pricing, not stores) that big box businesses do. If a small business doesn't have the products you want or need, ask them - they're also usually much more receptive and willing to order them for you.
 
Find what you're looking for in the Chamber Directory.
 
GOT AN EVENT OR NEWS? WE'D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT
Is your organization hosting an event in the community? Submit it here on our community calendar. If it's a tourism event, please email Ashlee so she can post it on www.SmokyMountains.org.
 
Also, please send us any news releases or good news about your business. We'd love to share it with the community.
 
REMEMBER WHEN
"Will You Love Me Tomorrow," by the Shirelles, was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in 1961. The song is also notable for being the first song by an all-girl group to reach number one in the United States.

Events

 

Feb. 6-12

 

The Dialogue

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 69th installment visiting with Zackary D. Peabody, owner of 411 Linen Service (865-983-5407) which provides local businesses with quality linen service, from another local business.
 
What exactly does 411 Linen Service do? We provide hotels, restaurants, medical, and garages with linen needs. We provide rugs, towels, mops, etc., along with table and hotel linens.
 
How did you get started? I was in the restaurant business and heard that 411 Linen Service was closing its doors. I couldn't let such a quality service just quit. So I decided to purchase it.
 
How did you learn about this type of business? I learned everything I know from the previous owner Robert "Bob" Wilburn, also Robin Jenkins. Couldn't have done it without her.
 
Describe your customers. Our customers are a very loyal group. Even though it switched ownership they have stuck it out with us and we are very thankful for that!
 
Name three things you wish you knew when you started. Invoicing, route mapping, sales.
 
What do you enjoy about the business? I enjoy interacting wit our customers on the route and knowing everyone by name and being able to see something so simple as giving them a bundle of towels or a fresh rug can make all the difference in their day.
 
Premier and Presidential Partners