A new business networking group sponsored by the Early Chamber of Commerce met for the first time on Monday afternoon at Humphrey Pete’s.   

The Early Brownwood Advanced Networking Group, or EBANG, hosted representatives from local businesses like Andy’s Pest Troopers, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Songbird Lodge, South Park Medical Plaza, KOXE/KBWD and the Brownwood Regional Medical Center. EBANG held an informational session last Monday to introduce and explain the group before today’s inaugural gathering.   

The meeting began with a brief presentation from Medical Center director of information systems Jay Smith, who will give five-minute educational talks during every meeting. Smith spoke about utilizing social media to maximum effect, and even provided an information packet to accompany the presentation.   

Smith said even small-town businesses can benefit from a better online and social media presence, which allows them to do things like respond to poor online reviews and directly address customer concerns.   

The attendees then each gave a 30-second “elevator pitch” about their businesses. Elevator pitches are designed to concisely summarize a company’s mission, and the exercise allows participants to practice for potential clients and easily remember the main services of other EBANG businesses. The pitches will be a weekly feature of EBANG meetings.   

One member, too, will then give a longer presentation about his or her business each week. In the first meeting, Stephanie Gade of 94.3 “The Ox” talked about her longtime love of broadcasting and how she markets her station for advertisers.   

Gade said being a part of EBANG will be valuable for her and the station. “Networking is the fastest way to let people know who you are,” Gade said. “I like to be around like-minded business people like myself, and this seemed like a great way to do that.   

“How long would it take me to go out to each individual business and then meet with each person and tell them my story?” she said. “This way, I’ve got everybody right here, and within an hour I’ve spoken to the whole group.”   

EBANG is led by Blue Sky Entertainment business development specialist Ron Oswalt and facilitated by the Early Chamber of Commerce and its membership director Shelly Taff. Early Chamber members who would like to join EBANG can contact Taff at 325-649-9317 or ecoc@earlytx.com.    

EBANG membership is $50 through the end of the year. EBANG members will meet every Monday at noon at Humphrey Pete’s.