The Small Business Festival provides expert speakers, panels, resource groups and networking opportunities for small businesses through a series of events spread across 3 days.
This year’s festival is focused on starting a new business, growing an existing one, and connecting everyone to the incredible resources this region has to offer, as well as to each other.
Find the inspiration you need, learn a new trick to your trade, and make at least one connection that will transform your business at the Small Business Festival!
Join us in kicking off the Small Business Festival in the Tri-Cities at Bristol Motor Speedway with breakfast and some inspirational talks. Then stay for amazing workshops or venture out across the Tri-Cities for workshops covering impactful topics for your new or existing ventures!
9:00 – 11:00 AM Thursday, May 3 @ BMS, Bristol, TN
Karl cooler from the City of Bristol, TN will speak on the basics of permitting for commercial properties. This workshop follows the kickoff breakfast!
11:00 – 11:30 AM Thursday, May 3 @ BMS, Bristol, TN
Wes Argabrite of the Bank of Tennessee will speak on how to finance your dreams!
11:30 – 12:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ BMS, Bristol, TN
New in Business? Have a limited marketing budget? Want to train your sales team? If you are looking for easy and cost-effective marketing strategies to engage your customers and grow your revenue, this seminar is for you! It includes: – Inbound Marketing – Targeting – Networking Strategies – B2B social Media – Helpful Tools MOCK NETWORKING SESSION with all DO’s and DON’TS A perfect seminar if you are a small business owner, sales/marketing professional, solo entrepreneur or just about anyone who would like to learn the tricks of the trade. This is a FREE event. Light refreshments will be served at the event. Speaker(s): Jeremy Laduke; Owner/Chief Storyteller at Epic Nine Marketing
11:30 – 1:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport, TN
Everything you need to know, and so much more, on how to start your business, form your business, and plenty of time for questions after the talk! Learn about the legal needs and requirements to start your business or ask questions about your current one.
12:30 – 1:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ ETSU Innovation Lab, Johnson City, TN
Everything you need to know and so much more about bookkeeping, taxes, and general CPA knowledge! There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
1:00 – 1:30 PM Thursday, May 3 @ ETSU Innovation Lab, Johnson City, TN
Building a strong following for your business online can make or break your business. Come learn what you need to know before you launch or rethink your existing social media campaign.
1:30 – 2:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ ETSU Innovation Lab, Johnson City, TN
Drop by Sync.Space anytime between 5:30-10 PM. We socialize, swaps stories and advice, show off projects, collaborate, and scheme. At the Model City Makerspace, our mission is to support local entrepreneurship and create an environment that inspires the maker community to network, collaborate, practice their craft, and learn new skills. Our makers range from enthusiasts and artists; to geeks/tinkerers, coders, and craftsmen. If you are into it, we are into it.
5:30 -10:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ Sync.Space, Kingsport, TN
Everything you need to know, and so much more, on how to start your business, form your business, and plenty of time for questions after the talk!
6:00 – 6:30 PM Thursday, May 3 @ Sync.Space, Kingsport, TN
Join other entrepreneurs on Thursday night from 6 to 7 PM in the JRH Brewing Room as John Henritze shares “pitfalls of a small business owner.” Hear from John and the lessons that he’s learned over the past few years as a small brewing owner and have a cold brew while networking with others!
6:00 – 7:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ JRH Brewing, Johnson City, TN
In this workshop led by ARO’s Vice Presidents, Samantha Culbertson and Ashley Shutt, you will be guided through the step-by-step process of creating and implementing a marketing strategy for your business. We will discuss where to begin, what tools you will need, and the benefits of having a solid plan for the future.
6:30 – 7:00 PM Thursday, May 3 @ Sync.Space, Kingsport, TN
Learn all about Additive Manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, with an interactive session at Sync Space in Kingsport. Marshall Reid, head of the Inventor Center will be leading the interactive discussion.
7:00 – 7:30 PM Thursday, May 3 @ Sync.Space, Kingsport, TN
Join the Bristol Chamber of Commerce for their First Friday Business Breakfast. The Speaker is Steve Smith of Food City.
7:30 – 9:30 AM Friday, May 4 @ King University, Bristol, TN
We invite all proponents and opponents of the Bitcoin Technology to join us for an open and insightful discussion about the pros and cons and to understand what the future holds for Bitcoin. This seminar is designed to educate business owners and others about Bitcoin Technology and to prepare them for potential Bitcoin transactions. Who should attend? Anyone who is curious and would like to know more about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies. This is not a sales pitch. Come and learn, network with others, and get answers to your questions about the Bitcoin. The seminar will highlight the following topics: • What is Bitcoin and how to use it? • Is Bitcoin an investment? • What is mining? • Are there business opportunities? • What does the future hold for Bitcoin? Light refreshments will be provided.
Speaker(s): Mr. John Cannon, Author of BTC- 101 An Introduction to Bitcoin
11:30 – 1:00 PM Friday, May 4 @ Chamber of Commerce, Kingsport, TN
Get tips and tricks from K.D. Bowen! The talk will be at the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce at the Mall Annex Room at The Mall at Johnson City. (The Mall Annex Room is on the back side of the Mall, between the Men’s/Women’s Belk stores—look for the black awning)
Please Bring Your Own Lunch.
12:00 – 1:00 PM Friday, May 4 @)JOHNSON CITY MALL (MALL ANNEX ROOM), Johnson City, TN
Bob Justice of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center will speak about his top 10 rules of business success.
1:00 – 1:30 PM Friday, May 4 @ Warehouse 817 Bristol, VA
Cindy Fields of the Virginia Small Business Development Center will speak on making sure you are ready to start your venture as well as how to get started once you are!
3:00 – 3:30 PM Friday, May 4 @ Warehouse 817 Bristol, VA
Jeff Rainey is launching Grassy Ridge Coffee, the premiere hand roasted and sourced coffee subscription service, in the Tri-Cities and he will kick off our Starturday Festival talking about the challenges and successes of launching a business in Northeast Tennessee. Learn how he built a following and how he plans to grow into a national brand.
9:30 – 10:00 AM Saturday, May 5 @ Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol, TN
Joyce Brown and Aundrea Wilcox will be leading this discussion.
9:30 – 10:30 AM Saturday, May 5 @ Bristol Train Station, Bristol, VA
Jim Maxwell, Bristol Herald Courier, will be speaking about the benefits of a gigabit community.
10:00 10:30 AM Saturday, May 5 @ Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol, TN
BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
151 Speedway Boulevard, Bristol, TN
1350 King College Rd, Bristol, TN
FOUNDATION EVENT FACILITY (HP KING ROOM)
620 State Street, Bristol, TN
BRISTOL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
20 Volunteer Parkway, Bristol, TN
BRISTOL TRAIN STATION
101 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Bristol, VA
BIRTHPLACE OF COUNTRY MUSIC MUSEUM
520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA
817 State Street, Bristol, VA
221 Moore Street, Bristol, VA
BRISTOL STATION BREWERY & PUB
41 Piedmont Avenue, Bristol, VA
227 East Sullivan Street, Kingsport, TN
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
400 Clinchfield Street, Kingsport, TN
ETSU INNOVATION LAB
2109 West Market Street, Johnson City, TN
JOHNSON CITY MALL (MALL ANNEX ROOM)
2011 North Roan Street, Johnson City, TN
JRH BREWING, LLC
458 West Walnut Street, Johnson City, TN