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Upstate workshop offers lender matchmaking with small business owners

COLUMBIA, S.C. – March 2, 2012 – The South Carolina Department of Commerce will host a day-long workshop this month to help small business owners with strategies on financing their businesses and meeting lenders. The event will be March 13, at the TD Convention Center in Greenville.

“The emotion and energy of Commerce is toward having an impact. Meeting the needs of small business through sessions like this one help us do that, and bring important resources right to small business owners,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.

Attendees will have the chance to hear directly from lenders and small business service providers about how business owners can best position themselves to access capital. Small business owners will also learn from fellow entrepreneurs on how to improve their business strategies and prepare for marketing challenges.

The morning sessions will involve lender panels and a seminar on advice for small businesses. The afternoon session will involve an actual matchmaking event using a “speed dating” style concept to connect business owners with multiple lenders quickly.

A previous lender matchmaking event was held in August in Columbia, and had about 200 attendees. Ed Kesser, executive vice president of Business Carolina Inc. (BCI) Lending Services, a not-for-profit small business lender, participated in the lender matchmaking event in August.

“It provided us with the opportunity to further expose Business Carolina to the Small Business Community and help them understand how we could provide financial assistance to them,” Kesser said. “Small Business owners need to be aware of all avenues available to them for credit."

Partners of the event include: the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the S.C. Bankers Association, S.C. Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Credit Union League, South Carolina Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The workshop will also be co-hosted by the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.

The workshop will be at the TD Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive, and will run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Registration will be held that morning at 8 a.m. or register online at There is a $30 registration fee. For more information, contact Ted Campbell at the South Carolina Department of Commerce at [email protected] or (803) 737-2329.