The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free live webinar series, EMFS Value-Added Agribusiness in partnership with the Empowering Mountain Food Systems Program, 10 – 11 a.m., Tuesdays, June 2nd through June 30th. This four - part series was built for agribusinesses, food and beverage businesses and those looking to enter the food production industry. Speaker for the series is Smithson Mills of Blue Ridge Food Ventures.

The series will include the following:

Introduction to the Value Added Food Industry - Tuesday, June 2

This session covers an overview of the food industry in America, including key concepts and categories of foods, resources for new and expanding food businesses, major trends and market opportunities for small agribusinesses in WNC and the Southeast.

Business Readiness for New Food Businesses - Tuesday, June 9

This segment covers important aspects of successfully launching a new food business. The webinar will include a checklist of needs, marketing strategies, staffing, trade shows, pricing for profitability and market entry, and essential “to dos” for anyone starting or growing a small food business. Presenters will give case studies of local success stories, along with one or two failures to learn from.

Food Manufacturing for Small Scale Businesses - Tuesday, June 16

This session covers essential information about how food gets made and sold commercially in a safe and wholesome manner. Key topics include basic types of processing and packaging, regulatory compliance, labeling laws, and important pieces of equipment common to food processing.

Marketing Your Product and Your Brand - Tuesday, June 23

Catching eyeballs and making sales – this session covers essential elements for successfully marketing your products and creating customer loyalty. Topics will include online presence, vending options, and guerilla marketing at point of sale.

Food Businesses and COVID-19-Short and Long Term Changes to How Food is Sourced and Used - Tuesday, June 30

This webinar will discuss changes to value added production and marketing in the wake of COVID 19. Regional case studies will be shared describing strategies for resilient marketing and production plans.

Attendees may register for one webinar or all five. Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Visit SBC.Haywood.edu or call 828.627.4512 for additional information or to register today.

Thinking about starting a business in Haywood County or growing an existing business? Take advantage of the programs, services, and resources provided by the Small Business Center. The NC Community College’s Small Business Center Network facilitates an economic impact in 90 percent of all NC counties each year and ranks number one in the U.S. for total business seminars and participants. In addition, the network helps start an average of over 700 businesses every year and works to create and retain 3,800 jobs annually for North Carolina. Visit ncsbc.net for more information.