Ribbon Cutting Guidelines

What is a Chamber ribbon cutting?

Lowes Ribbon CuttingA ribbon cutting is a ceremonial opening of a brand-new or newly renovated/relocated business that wants to celebrate a recent accomplishment. It can inaugurate the first day of business or it can take place weeks after a soft opening.

Because the ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in the business’ history, this is a great photo opportunity. The ceremony gives the business owner/manager a chance to say a few words to those gathered. This time is typically used to thank financial backers, employees, friends, family and business partners. This is also a great time to talk about what your business does.

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Who qualifies for a ribbon cutting?

The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce is available to assist with your ribbon cutting if your business:

  • Has recently opened for business
  • Has moved to a new location
  • Has been renovated or expanded at the current location
  • Is celebrating a milestone anniversary
  • Is breaking ground for a new structure

Please note, you must be a current Chamber member in good standing for the Winston-Salem Chamber to participate in your ribbon cutting.

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What are the benefits of holding a Chamber ribbon cutting?

By hosting a ribbon cutting you can:

  • Introduce both the public and Chamber members to your business
  • Announce your ribbon cutting on the Chamber’s Blog (In The News)
  • Publish your ribbon cutting on the Chamber’s Member Event Calendar
  • Familiarize the public and Chamber members with your products/services
  • Familiarize the public and Chamber members with your location
  • Generate leads from attendees

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Is there an additional cost to have the Chamber participate?

There is no additional cost for the Chamber to participate in your event.

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Is the ribbon cutting my business’ event or a Chamber event?

This is your event. The Chamber will gladly assist you with the following:

  • Notify the Chamber’s Ambassadors group of your ribbon cutting, encouraging them to attend
  • Provide the Chamber scissors and Chamber ribbon
  • Place your ribbon cutting announcement on the Chamber blog
    (NOTE: You are responsible for sending event details to the Chamber marketing department — hgingles@winstonsalem.com — at least 7-10 business days prior to the event.)
  • Have a member of the Chamber’s leadership team provide congratulatory remarks
  • Provide a media list for you to send a press release to local media
    (NOTE: We will not be able to write the press release for you, but we will be glad to show you how to create a press release and proof read it once it’s complete.)

We strongly encourage you to conduct your own PR campaign for your ribbon cutting to increase attendance and awareness. You should consider inviting your business partners, financiers, contractors, employees, customers, friends and family. Please understand that you should not rely solely on the Chamber to attract attendees.

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What do we do?

Your ribbon cutting is totally YOUR event, there are no set rules. To make the event successful, carefully consider the following:

  • Schedule your event at least 3 weeks in advance. Contact Barbette Dunn, 336-728-9245, to schedule your event. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually the best days during the week for business people. We recommend that you do not schedule your event earlier than 8 a.m. and avoid late evening events. Unfortunately, the Chamber cannot assist with ribbon cuttings on weekends and/or holidays.
  • Determine who will cut the ribbon. You may have one ribbon cutter or several, depending on the length of the ribbon and the space available. You may opt to have a “high-profile” ribbon cutter to increase exposure. Options include the mayor, a city council member, or a county commissioner.
  • Hire/assign a photographer. If you would like to have photographs taken during the event, it is best to have someone assigned to do that. The Chamber will most likely have a photographer there to take the photo of the ribbon cutting, but they will not be able to stay for event photos, and there is no guarantee of a Chamber photographer. To find photographers, search the Chamber’s online Business Directory.
  • Invite everyone you know! Is the general public invited? If so, place your event in area community calendars. If you are a for-profit company, you may want to purchase ad space in the newspaper to announce the event. Download the Chamber Member Listing spreadsheet (found in the Members Only section of our website) to send invitations through bulk mail. Be sure to include detailed information about the location of the event and a map, if possible. Be sure to post your event on the Chamber’s Member Event Calendar and on the Chamber Facebook page.
  • Be creative! Find creative ways to tie your product into the ceremony. For example: a lawn care service could use hedge clippers instead of scissors, an auto repair store could use a checkered finish line instead of a ribbon, or a non-profit with a social cause could attach tiny colored awareness ribbons onto a larger ribbon.
  • Consider having giveaways. Logo items that attendees can take back to their office are best.
  • Provide food and beverage for your guests. This is not required, but adds a nice touch. Search the Chamber’s online Business Directory for a list of caterers.
  • Prepare a quick speech. Be sure to have brochures or other business information available.

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How do I get media presence at my event?

Send your press release to the media via email. It is helpful to send the release 3-4 days before the event. Please know that it is very difficult to get the media to a ribbon cutting. They may not confirm that they are coming.

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How do I get the mayor or other local elected officials to attend?

It will be your responsibility to contact the Mayor’s Office and the City Secretary’s Office to schedule elected officials.

Mayor Allen Joines
Suite 150, City Hall
101 North Main Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Mail to:
P.O. Box 2511
Winston-Salem, NC 27102-2511

Phone: (336) 727-2058

Click here for contact info and a ward map for the City Council. It is most appropriate to invite the council member from the ward within which your business is located. If you need help determining your ward, please contact the City Secretary’s office at (336) 727-2224.

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