It’s a two-step process for a business initiative the Huntingburg Chamber has planned for 2017.
Next week the chamber will host a meeting to bring veteran business owners, new entrepreneurs and business dreamers together for networking sessions at Old School Cafe, 304 E. 4th St. in Huntingburg every third Tuesday from 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. The first session is next Tuesday, Feb. 21.
According to Chamber Director Sara Schroeder, anyone that matches those three qualifiers is invited to stop in, no matter where their business is located in the county.
“We already have businesses on Fourth Street collaborating with businesses in Jasper,” Schroeder said. “Serendipity Fibers is working with Forest Fresh in Jasper. Both are selling each others’ products.”
Through the upcoming meeting, Schroeder hopes to see more partnerships form that will create fertile soil for new business growth. Between the advice from veteran business owners and the new outlooks of young entrepreneurs, she envisions the two groups collaborating on new ideas and methods for business in the local economy.
“Ultimately, our goal is create a foundation of mentors, she said about the meeting. “People we can have in place so when new small businesses form in town, we have a group we can send them to for networking, collaboration and making connections.”
The Chamber’s main goal is to simply provide support for the group as it moves forward. But, establishing the mentors and networking group is important for the next step Schroeder has planned for inciting some business growth.
Later this summer or early fall, the Huntingburg Chamber will host a business seminar to help prospective business owners grow their entrepreneurism into a successful business. Schroeder is working with Dubois Strong and Region 15 to research business trends that are bucking the online buying trend created by Amazon and other large retailers.
By identifying some specific businesses or business practices that are successful, Schroeder will be able to provide these entrepreneurs with some potentially successful business themes. Then, the networking group with its mentors and young entrepreneurs can feed the growth by providing the knowledge and go-getter attitude needed for success.
With the growth from Stellar in Huntingburg and Jasper’s redevelopment efforts, the communities are expecting to attract new people to the area interested in local, unique businesses and more entrepreneurial opportunities.
“It just seems like this is the right time to get this started,” Schroeder said.