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Business calendar

Apply by March 3

Charlotte Venture Challenge:

The 15th annual Charlotte Venture Challenge offers start-up companies valuable exposure and a proven history of identifying winning ventures that achieve commercial success. Young companies seeking visibility, cash prizes, corporate exposure, and possible connections to venture investors should apply by midnight Thursday, March 3. Application information and competition guidelines can be found at www.charlotteventurechallenge.com.

March 3 and beyond

Webinars - Affordable Care Act 101:

The U.S. Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy organization, will host free Affordable Care Act 101 webinars so small business owners can learn the basics of the Affordable Care Act and how they can enroll in health insurance marketplaces. Upcoming dates are March 3, 17 and 31; and April 14 and 28. The webinars begin at 2 p.m. To register, go to the event calendar at www.smallbusinessmajority.org, and search for the webinar called “What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business.”

Apply by March 4

SBA’s Emerging Leaders Program in Charlotte:

U.S. Small Business Administration’s North Carolina office is seeking 16 Charlotte area business owners to apply for the city's second SBA Emerging Leaders class. This free, federal training initiative is designed to give them a strategic growth plan for their businesses. The first class meets in April and will meet twice a month through October. For information: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba_initiatives/sba_emerging_leaders_initiative. Register at

http://www.interise.org/sbaemergingleaders.

March 9

Matthews Chamber Business Luncheon:

Guest speaker Bill Franklin, managing partner at MindSet, will discuss “How to create a high-performing team.” 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Carmel Baptist Church, 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road, Matthews. Cost: $15-$20. For details and to register, go to matthewschamber.org.

March 14 - April 18

Start Your Event Planning Business:

Corporations, organizations and individuals often rely on a professional event planner to create and carry out a successful business or social occasion--and success doesn't happen by chance. “How to Start an Event Planning Business” is a five-session course where you'll learn the start-up basics and techniques event planners use to create, budget, negotiate and operate a successful business. Tuition: $70. Mondays, March 14 - April 18, 6-8:30 p.m. at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, North Campus, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd S., Salisbury. Go to www.rccc.edu to register, or call 704-216-3534 for more information.

By March 14

Nominate the N.C. Small-Business Advocate:

The SBA’s North Carolina District Office is seeking nominations for this year’s small-business advocate. Three people will be honored for advocating on behalf of veteran-, women- and minority-business owners. Honorees will be recognized May 2-6 during National Small Business Week. Nomination packages must hand delivered or postmarked by March 14 to the North Carolina District Office, 6302 Fairview Road, Suite 300, Charlotte. For more information, call April Gonzalez at 704-344-6811.

March 15

The Greater Matthews Business Expo 2016:

Connect with the public and other business owners at this annual trade show for Matthews Chamber member businesses. 4-7 p.m. at Carmel Baptist Church, 1145 Pineville-Matthews Road. For vendor information and fees, go to matthewschamber.org.

May 26

LACCC Business Expo

Save the date for the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte’s business expo, from 3-7 p.m. For exhibitor and sponsorship information, call Rocio Gonzalez at 704-343-2525.

Send us your news: Email us at shoptalk@charlotteobserver.com by 5 p.m. next Wednesday.

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