South Sound Business Summit draws 140 business owners


About 140 local small business owners and supporters gathered at STAR Center on May 1 to celebrate small business in the South Sound and to learn from local leaders about how to grow and improve their business.

This year attendees learned from Brian Harding, an owner of The Plumbing & Drain Company in Sumner about how he went from having his global headquarters in his living room to a multi-million dollar company within 5 years.

Greg Towne of The John Maxwell Team talked about some of the key steps in increasing your sales influence, which included how to develop referral opportunities and how to stay on top of mind with your current clients.

The South Sound Business Summit had a special guest, Jeremy Field, the Regional Administrator for the US Small Business Administration for the Northwest. Jeremy shared the ways the SBA has been helping small businesses in the South Sound and beyond.

Jude Larson of JML Real Solutions convinced people to get out of their comfort zone and showed how that can benefit their businesses and in life.

Premier Media Group’s Josh Dunn finished the speaker series by talking about how to work on your business and not in your business. Josh explained the importance of taking time for yourself to think globally and the success that can come from taking a personal retreat.

The summit concluded with an expert panel where the audience was able to ask questions to Nicole Fisher and Rick Peterson of Jeff Baker & Associates about accounting, Ken Swarner with NW Military about how the growing JBLM population can help business, Abbie Cates, owner of KnifeForkSpoon, a year-old women-owned business, about the challenges she had faced, and Gwen Kohl of Spaceworks of Tacoma about resources that are available to small businesses in the South Sound.

The first full week of May is National Small Business Week in America. Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, which create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

This event was sponsored by Paul Long, Timberland Bank, STAR Center, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber of Commerce, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce, Lacey Chamber of Commerce, Copy Wrights Printing, South Sound Biz (Premier Media Group), Released to See Photography and Videography,, Northwest Military, Anthem Coffee and Wine Bar and Grit City Bakery.

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