Conference in Goldsboro aims to support local businesses

GOLDSBORO, WAYNE COUNTY (WITN) – A conference this week in the east is focused on supporting downtown businesses.

It was an exciting day in downtown Goldsboro as business owners from across the state gathered for the celebrated NC Main Street Conference to learn and network.

Downtown development director of Goldsboro, Erin Fonseca said, “We are hosting the North Carolina Main Street Conference right here in downtown Goldsboro. This is the 20th year of the North Carolina Main Street Conference and we happen to be celebrating 40 years as a Main Street community”.

The purpose of the three-day conference is to train and teach business owners how to be successful with sessions on topics like grant writing and grant management.

Stephaine Cast owns Lola Vintiques and says it’s rewarding but not always easy to own her shop.

“We are in a bit of an uncertain economy right now so we just try and be mindful of that. That is one of the biggest stressors right now, advertising extensively helps draw people inwards to us, so that certainly helps” says Cast.

The pandemic took its toll on local businesses, but they’re making a comeback. Nicholas Ward, owner of Bricks Wood Fire Pizza Company, says he used the experience of COVID to improve.

“We were not open during COVID but we were learning and paying attention to learn lessons that’s why we have this concept if COVID were to happen again it would be easy to just transition into a place where social distancing is easy to do and then move forward our business wouldn’t change that much,” says Ward.

The conference runs through March 14th.

The North Carolina Main Street Conference is the largest statewide downtown conference in the country.