Jeff Say

While the Groundhog in Pennsylvania may have predicted six more weeks of winter, things are heating up here at the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce.

During our last survey of small businesses, one of the items that kept coming up was hosting a “Lunch and Learn.” Businesses, especially now, are looking for ways to improve their business, increase their productivity and in turn find a way to add to their bottom line.

It was a topic of discussion in our Small Business Development Advocacy Council – and they decided now would be a good time to put our plan into action.

On the third Wednesday of every month, Tom Fish, of Action Coach Two Rivers, will lead a course on business development and discovery, helping you get the most out of your investment.

Fish, a certified business coach, will walk business owners through the process of maximizing their potential. He has a mastery series planned that focuses on money, time, and marketing.

His first course in January focused on money mastery – what it means to budget, to plan properly and then what to do with the capital raised from the process. He gave insightful instructions, such as “if you want to manage something, you have to measure it.”

His next session in February focused on time management and he will continue to present his mastery program the third Wednesday of every month. You can register online at and by visiting the events calendar. We hope to see you there!

The other exciting new venture at the Chamber is our mentorship program, presented by the Nonprofit Council. The council started talking about mentorship last year, when co-chairs Andrew DeNicola and Cindy Hedges brought the subject up to our nonprofit members. They thought that it would be beneficial for a nonprofit leader to be able to learn and share with peers.

After talking about the program at length, it was also opened up to small businesses because nonprofits and businesses are very similar, and they might benefit from working with each other. We sent a survey out late last year asking for volunteers to serve as mentors and mentees and we received quite a bit of positive feedback.

We were able to pair up a mentor and mentee with a strength and weakness that they identified, and they started a six-month program in January. After the first six months, the mentors and mentees will be paired again to help address another area that they marked on the survey. We are starting a waiting list for the next six-month program, that is slated to begin in June. If you’re interested in joining the mentorship program, contact me at for more information.

The Nonprofit Council is also hosting a “make and take” on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. for Chamber nonprofit members. It will be a time to share calendars, upcoming fundraisers and an opportunity to learn about how to make the most of the Give Local Piedmont campaign this coming May.

Finally, the Chamber is hosting its State of the Community virtually on March 24 at 8:30 a.m. Come learn about important topics impacting the community!

While the weather outside is still frightful, we’re doing everything we can to weather the storm!

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