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‘Small Business Connection’ tour debuts at River Run in Davidson

In this September 2014 photo, Kyle Reifers of Charlotte watches an amazing putt on 18 to finish the final round of the Chiquita Classic tournament.
In this September 2014 photo, Kyle Reifers of Charlotte watches an amazing putt on 18 to finish the final round of the Chiquita Classic tournament.

The PGA’s Web.com Tour at River Run Country Club in Davidson returns next week with a name change.

Formerly the Chiquita Classic, the finals event has been renamed the Small Business Connection Championship at River Run. It’s scheduled for Sept. 14-20.

The change follows Chiquita’s high-profile departure from Charlotte. In January – after being acquired by two Brazilian companies – Chiquita Brands International announced it was closing its Charlotte headquarters after three years. Chiquita’s departure ended the banana-and-salads company’s sponsorship of the tour event at River Run.

In this article, Observer freelance writer Bill Kiser writes that Chiquita had to buy out the final year of its three-year sponsorship agreement, according to Chris Hensler, River Run’s director of golf.

The new title, Small Business Connection, refers to Web.com’s initiative with Allstate, Capital One, LegalZoom, Microsoft and Office Depot to provide information for small business owners.

The site’s creators consider it an online version of its Small Business Summit, a national tour making a Charlotte stop on Sept. 18 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The free summit features presentations on online marketing solutions and business insurance, and attendees receive a free ticket to the tour event at River Run. (Click here for more information.)

Now in its third year, the summit stopped in 27 cities in 2013, 50 cities last year, and plans 60 stops this year, according to Michael Young Sr., vice president of Web.com small-business summits.

Small-business owners said in post-summit surveys that they wanted access to more information: “ ‘We need help with insurance, we need help with financials, we need help with technology, we need help with legal,’ ” Young said.

Commercials are scheduled to air on Golf Channel touting the Small Business Connection website, which launched a few months ago, Young said.

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