The Chamber is your one-stop comprehensive business resource; silent partner and support system; access to local leaders, future customers & referrals; general contractors for building your social capital; the starting platform for executing your regional marketing strategy.  We are here to help make your business successful.



The “Entrepreneurial Spirit” of Catawba County has never been stronger and its network of resources for business development, no matter what stage you are in or type business size, years in business, training needs, etc. are available with one phone call or click of a mouse.

The following resources serve as a connector in Catawba County between a variety of local, regional and statewide business and community development resources, fosters communication and collaboration among entities and proactively enhances the entrepreneurial and business support environment in Catawba County.

Are you thinking about going into business?  Ready to start a business?  Are you seaching for assistance and training with your existing business?  Whether you need help with market research, writing a comprehensive business plan, or getting the proper permits, not to worry... You're not in this alone!

The following organizations and individuals are ready and willing to assist you, most at no cost to you.  Feel free to refer to them as your Unvested Board of Advisors.  Click here to see higher education and lifelong learning organizations.

Lindsay Keisler, IOM

President & CEO

(828) 431-7223

Business Assistance and Referrals.  Problems with licensing, permitting, inspections; grand openings, marketing and networking your business; voice of business; business competitive success.  Training, marketing and networking events, business angels (counseling), leads groups, professional development programs, leadership development training, sponsorship opportunities, entrepreneurial development/awards competition.

Jeff Neuville, Director  828-327-7000 x4102

Confidential counseling for start-ups and existing small businesses.  Business planning and writing a business plan.  Step-Up, Start-Up series of seminars for individuals considering starting their own business.  Stand alone seminars for start-ups and small businesses on such topics as Writing a Business Plan, Marketing, Record Keeping & Taxes, Funding, and more.  No-cost for counseling and seminars.  Resource library with internet access available on-site.

(828) 345-1110

The SBTDC provides assistance in start-up and early stage planning for entrepreneurs, as well as general business assistance for existing small and mid-sized business. Our services include market research, business plans, strategic planning, capital sourcing, technology commercialization, government procurement, and more. See our website for our Business Start-Up and Resource Guide.

Lenoir Rhyne University Center for Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship

Ralph Griffith, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship  

LRU’s Entrepreneurship program is preparing students and community members to launch new companies, enter the free market and build sustainable profits that drive GDP and contribute to jobs creation. Our Entrepreneurship program reinforces skill sets in marketing, accounting, sales, leadership and, perhaps most importantly—creativity. This program is supported by the Center for Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship. The center includes an incubator and access to subject matter experts. This program is about creating an impact and not just theory. 

Taylor Dellinger, Data Analyst

(828) 485-4233

Analysis of demographic and economic growth data; transportation data and maps, and special studies.  Regional demographic and economic data is available in the data services section of the WPCOG website.

Wendy Johnson, Workforce Development Director

(828) 485-4273

Provides oversight, coordination, guidance, planning, technical assistance and implementation of employment and training activities.  Promotes and develops partnerships and linkages with human service and resource agencies and institutions to sustain coordinated approaches to developing workforce program design and delivery systems.

Scott Millar, President

(828) 267-1564

Industrial and large scale site selection and development, available buildings, local and state incentives, existing industry expansions, and new industry relocation.

Nathan Huret, Director of Existing Industry Services

(828) 267-1564

Business assistance for new and existing industry - local/state/federal resource connector, training resources and workforce programming, incentives, available real estate in local market, access to foreign markets, sources of capital for expansion.

Dan St. Louis

(828) 327-7000 ext. 4292

Helps US Manufacturers increase sales, improve quality and improve effeciency to create or retain jobs.  Enhance and improve products through applied research and development.  Create prototypes for new, innovative offerings.  Analyze new materials to enhance structure and programs.  Test products for reliable content and quality.  On site business incubation.  Product sourcing.  Helping entrepreneurs get their product to the market.

Crystal Glenn, Executive Director

(828) 327-7000 Ext. 4293

Consulting and training services for manufacturing, logistics, data centers and call centers.  Offerings include: Six Sigma, OSHA, Lean Operations, Mechatronics, Manufacturing Academy, Catawba Valley Furniture Academy, Supervisory Certificate Program, and Apprenticeship.

Susan Blake, Director

(828) 327-7000 Ext. 4330

Business training for computer software applications; leadership/customer service supervision; on-site training if needed; code inspection classes; continuing education for state certifications/licenses; notary/e-notary.

Felicia Setzer, Manager

(828) 466-5535

Labor market information, provides access to career training and job placement services, serves as a connection between employers and qualified workers.

Brian Frazier, Planning Director

Business assistance for new and existing businesses, large and small projects, housing and residential development, state development zone, incentives and available buildings and site, various grant funding for Brownfields, demolition, vacant buildings, etc.

Randy Williams, Planning Director

(828) 696-4277

Business assistance for new and existing business, commercial development, available buildings and sites and incentives.

Lance Hight, Planning Director

(828) 464-1191

Business assistance for new businesses, housing, residential development, buildings and incentives.

Jacky Eubanks, Planning and Parks Director

(828) 465-8297

Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Travis Ramsey, Planning and Zoning Director

(828) 428-5034

Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Tom Drum, Town Manager

(828) 241-2215

Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Elinor Hiltz, Planner


Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Marshall Eckard, Town Manager and Clerk

(828) 322-4903

Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Charles Mullis, Town Planner

(828) 322-3921

Business assistance, planning and zoning.

Patrick Beaver Library

375 3rd Street NE, Hickory, NC  828-304-0500 
Business resources and research information- printed and electronic.

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