Northeast Connection small business meeting.jpg

Jeanne Reynolds photos.

Networking with other small business owners and learning about resources available to help them succeed are among the most valued aspects of participating in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

That was the immediate feedback received from a digital round table survey of attendees at today’s Northeast Connection meeting at Richland Two Institute of Innovation. About three dozen small business owners and professionals gathered to tell the chamber how it can help them succeed. They used their smart phones or tablets to answer a series of questions about what’s working - and what’s not - in the chamber’s services and programs.

“The future is changing faster than we can ever imagine,” roundtable facilitator Ron Harvey of Global Core Strategies & Consulting told the group. “We’re going to focus on every small business in this community, and we won’t be successful unless we look like everyone in this room.”

“We’ve got to continue to grow, but we can only do it with your feedback,” added Carl Blackstone, chamber president and CEO. “We’ve got growing pains we need to address as a community, but we’ve got to have a strategy and long-term vision to do that.”

Meanwhile, Harvey encouraged attendees to focus on building relationships.

“Invest in yourself and build relationships,” Harvey said. “Your relationship score is just as important as your credit score.”

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