The Early Brownwood Advanced Networking Group, or EBANG, has added a second group that will meet Tuesdays at noon at The Turtle Restaurant in downtown Brownwood.
EBANG was created by the Early Chamber of Commerce and Blue Sky Entertainment business development specialist Ron Oswalt as a way for local business owners to network, share ideas and drive business to fellow members. The first group is led by Oswalt and meets Mondays at noon at Humphrey Pete’s.
Early Chamber executive director Shelly Taff said the second group will allow industry competitors to still participate in EBANG, which she said works best with one industry representative per group. “The first group was growing quickly,” Taff said, “and it just made sense to open up a new one so we can get more industries in the groups.”
Those interested in networking with EBANG are welcome to join either group. Local radio personality Stephanie Gade will lead the new EBANG meetings at the Turtle.
“I just want everybody to have a place where they can come and share thoughts freely,” Gade said. “Just share information as business owners to help make this a better place. We’re all working in the same town and we all have the same struggles and issues that come up. In a forum like this, we can get together and share those.”
EBANG member Shane Beasley of Auto Xpress said the group will help small businesses stay relevant and compete in an increasingly crowded market. “Being small business owners, we don’t have the corporate machinery to help us out,” he said. “Just getting each other’s ideas and referrals — in a small town, word of mouth is critical.”
Local entrepreneur Ken Davis will serve as the group’s education director. On Tuesday, he discussed social media strategies and website design. “I’m interested in trying to help the group as their problems evolve,” Davis said. “If something comes up, we’ll definitely try to put our heads together and figure out the best practice.”
Taff described EBANG as a practical, supportive group.
“Everyone’s here because they want referrals and they want to grow their business,” she said, “but it feels like this group has been more about problem-solving.”
Taff emphasized again that she will continue to refer and assist all Early Chamber members as she facilitates EBANG meetings.
Local business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals who want to join EBANG can pick up an application at the Early Chamber of Commerce or by attending a meeting. The group has a weekly membership requirement, which can be fulfilled by a surrogate or representative, and a small yearly membership fee. The Early Chamber of Commerce can be reached fore more information at 325-649-9317.