Business After Hours

Published 12:37 am Friday, August 21, 2009

Several of the key players of Dallas County’s business world convened at First Cahawba Bank for the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours.

Held a handful of times each year, the function brings businesses and entrepreneurs under one roof in a relaxed, social atmosphere to catch up and exchange ideas.

“One of the things it does for us is, it gets the community out,” said Ward 4 Councilwoman Angela Benjamin. “Some people think it’s just a social thing, but it gets the community out. We share ideas, we bounce ideas off each other.”

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Community was a common theme Thursday. Kelly Jones, president of First Cahawba, said the bank was thrilled to host the event because it falls in line with the bank’s goal of being a community bank.

“This is obviously a community function. It’s right up our alley,” he said. “The more businesses talk to each other, that only provides opportunity for new business.”

Catesby Jones, chairman of the board and a member of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce board of directors said the event always provides benefits to those in attendance as well as the host.

He said Thursday was the first time many set foot in First Cahawba Bank, affording the opportunity to showcase the business.

“It just gives the business leaders an opportunity to meet, network with one another, let them know what each business might have if they’re not aware of it,” he said. “I think communication is going to be the key going forward. That’s what we want the chamber to be: a sounding board.”

Jones said there are plans to make Business After Hours a quarterly event. He also said it is hoped that businesses will jockey for the right to host the event in the future.

While business owners can bounce ideas off each other, the setting also allows them to think a little more creatively.

“They actually meet in a social atmosphere,” said Sheryl Smedley, president of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce. “You’re thinking outside the box.”