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Building Businesses and Building Community

Updated: May 5

Takeaways from The Urban Chamber's Business Exchange Network

The Urban Chamber of Volusia and Flagler Counties hosted a dynamic Business Exchange Network event on April 18th, 2024, bringing together local entrepreneurs and business leaders for an evening of learning and connection.

Small Business Development Center: Your One-Stop Shop for Success

The Keynote speaker, Dr. Sherryl Weems, Vice President of Daytona State College, provided valuable insights on the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), a crucial resource for aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike. The SBDC offers a comprehensive suite of services, from business plan development to financial assistance, empowering small businesses to thrive.

The Traits of a Thriver: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur

Ms. Weems delved deeper, sharing insights on the personality traits that make a successful entrepreneur. Drawing inspiration from the story of Fredrick McKinley Jones, an African-American inventor who revolutionized the refrigerated trucking industry, she emphasized the importance of vision, perseverance, and a relentless pursuit of innovation. Referencing the book "I've Got An Idea," Dr. Weems encouraged attendees to tap into their creativity and translate their ideas into reality.

The Numbers Game: Why Accounting Matters

The event also featured a guest speaker, Mr. Frederick Towels of The Towels Group in Uniondale, New York who joined the meeting via Zoom. Mr. Towels brought a focus on the financial side of the business equation. He emphasized the importance of accounting and keeping good financial records. "You wouldn't build a house without a blueprint," he said, "and you shouldn't run a business without a clear understanding of your finances." Mr. Towels recommended taking an introductory accounting course at a local college to gain a foundational understanding.

Investing in Your Future: Building a Profitable Business

Mr. Towels offered practical advice for business owners. He advised attendees to consider passing on some of their tax refund and instead investing it back into the business. This can help demonstrate a stronger financial position and a commitment to growth. He also suggested that business owners avoid claiming a loss every year. While this may seem beneficial in the short term, it can make it difficult to secure funding from potential investors who look for a history of profitability.

A Call to Action: Be Part of the Conversation

Dr. Kennedy E Jacobs Sr., founder of The Urban Chamber and a pillar of the Daytona Beach business community, delivered a powerful message. He stressed the importance of local businesses being active participants in Volusia County's evolving corporate landscape. Dr. Jacobs stated, "We are Business owners in Volusia County and we must create sustainable businesses so that we can be a participant in the corporate business arena that's happening in Volusia County."

Building a Network of Support

The event resonated deeply with attendees, as Sherryl Weems highlighted, "It was such a pleasure to be around like-minded people. People who felt empowered to tell their stories.” The Business Exchange Network fostered a sense of community, providing a platform for business owners to connect, share experiences, and learn from each other.

Join the Movement: Become Part of The Urban Chamber

The Urban Chamber of Volusia and Flagler Counties offers a welcoming space for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to connect, access resources, and build successful businesses. The Chamber meets every third Thursday at the Career Development Center, located at 359 Bill France Blvd. in Daytona Beach, FL.

Want to learn more? Visit their website at and become part of the movement.


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