NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Business owner Eve Papa has created a networking group in her hometown of New Fairfield and wants to spread the word.
The free group, called Buziness Connect, brings New Fairfield entrepreneurs together to exchange ideas and share information to help grow their businesses.
You can sign up for the group online on "meetup.com" by searching "Buziness Connect." Buziness Connect meets on the third Thursday of every month and is open to owners of businesses in any town.
"It's like a support group for businesses. We help each other out by exchanging tactics and strategies, and offering suggestions to problems. Also, we learn about each other's business so we can refer them to clients who may need them," said Papa. She is the owner of Integrity Imaging, a 19-year-old full-service photography studio in New Fairfield.
Papa said she had been thinking of creating such a group for years. "There are hundreds of businesses in New Fairfield -- many of which are based out of the homes of the owners and may not get as much visibility as they could be getting.
"Since New Fairfield doesn't have a Chamber of our own, we had nothing that had a common thread to tie all our businesses together," said Papa, who is a mother of six and grandmother of four.
Topics discussed at the meetings include cash flow, reaching customers, development and web postings. "We give each other suggestions and when we meet the following month, we talk about our progress," she said.
"For my own business, someone suggested a way to approach corporations for new business, and it worked," Papa said.
Between meetings, members can reach out and communicate via email.
"Bigger businesses are eating local businesses alive. We need to support local businesses in local communities," she said.
Papa said the meetings the group has held so far have been very successful. "This is evolving into a mastermind where we are all helping each other," she said.
Buziness Connect's next meeting is July 21 at 7 p.m. at Integrity Imaging, at 132 State Route 37 in New Fairfield. An RSVP is recommended by signing up online. Anyone, from any town, is welcome to attend the meetings.