VILONIA — The Vilonia Area Chamber of Commerce was entertained Monday night by Zumba dancers and educated by a promoter of small businesses.
A Business after Hours was held at Pace Fitness in Vilonia, where owner Dave Bowling and chamber members served as hosts to 30 or so attendees. Boling welcomed everyone with a handshake and shared his passion for his business referring to it as a “ministry to the community.” An overview of the athletic facility, he introduced the members of the Zumba exercise class who also performed to high-energy music. Chamber members were invited to participate but opted to sit in chairs watching instead.
“Whew, they’ve got a lot of energy,” said chamber president Debbie Townsend at the conclusion.
Following, she introduced Itzel Meador, vice president of Arkansas Capital Corporation in Little Rock. Meador said ACC was formed in 1957 as a private, non-profit business development corporation who promotes economic development by providing financing to businesses.
We have lots of “tools and resources,” she said.
“Promoting economic development in Arkansas is our main focus,” she added. “My mission is to help small business owners. We are non-profit and we don’t compete with banks.”
Instead, she said, ACC partners with banks dealing with a variety of items including filling out paperwork.
“We are in it together like a partnership,” she added. “We specialize in Small Business Administration Loans.”
Meador talked briefly about the program’s low down payment requirements that, she said, allows more operating cash to small businesses. She concluded by saying, “If you know of any businesses around the community that need some help, you might want to tell them about us.”
Matt Faulkner of Think Advertising, based in Searcy, was also a guest speaker. He presented a five-minute overview of online services provided by his company. He particularly promoted a web service referred to as “Town Launch.” Faulkner told the gathering, “Your community needs and online resource.”
Those services, he said, can be provided at a cost of between $7,500 and $20,000 depending on the particular services needed. All guest speakers passed out business cards and packets.
Prior to dismissing for mingling and snacks, it was said the chamber is in negotiations to publish a new Vilonia directory for 2012. Also, there are plans for a Teacher Breakfast/Business Expo to be held in August at Vilonia High School.