Business and Community Expo offers chance to meet local business owners

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two years ago Tommy Williamson of Williamson’s Paint Center in Landrum made a suggestion to Janet Sciacca with the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce.
Williamson said it was about time for the chamber to hold a business expo dedicated to the many small businesses in the area.
Sciacca thought that the idea of holding a business expo highlighting building contractors, plumbers and repair businesses would be great.
Further, Sciacca thought timing for such an event would be perfect as people started long awaited projects in the New Year.
Sciacca, executive director for the chamber for more than 14 years, took the suggestion under advisement as she considered her total staff size of two and a half people. Not only was the workload daunting but finding a venue available and large enough to accommodate the event was equally challenging.
Sciacca called on Christina Feagan, special events coordinator for the chamber, to be the expo chairman and the two along with Kim Karaman and other volunteers charged forward to make the concept a reality.
“This is the first year we’ve been able to do this, so there is much to be learned,” admits Sciacca, who has been working for non-profit organizations for more than 20 years. “We are challenged in this area because there are so many small businesses that are too busy and just don’t have time or staff to get their names out.”
Sciacca hopes the expo, scheduled for Jan. 18 in the gym of the Polk County High School, will provide the opportunity for people in the area to come out and meet the many other small businesses that are rarely seen.
As with many good causes, Sciacca said as the expo started becoming a reality it soon became evident that it should be open to others. So with that, ‘free admission’ was added to the flyer along with an invitation to non-chamber members to come out and be seen.
According to Sciacca, providing the opportunity for non-members to attend the event opens up the possibility for future memberships and satisfies the attendance goals.
“Attendance is the key,” said Sciacca. “But there is one caveat; we are requiring that non-member businesses be physically located in either Polk County or Landrum.
Sciacca said they plan for the expo to be akin to a home and garden show format. Not only is the admission free, but attendees will receive a reusable tote bag and a business card holder. Sciacca said to expect a true trade show atmosphere, with draped partitions, skirted tables and approximately 55 spaces. Door prizes, drawings and chili dogs are also expected to be provided by the Polk County High School Key Club.
Information for the expo is available at or by calling 828-859-6236.

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About Kirk Gollwitzer

Kirk Gollwitzer is a freelance writer frequently writing articles for Google News Service, and other media organizations. After a successful career in software development, Kirk found his true passion telling a story through writing, photography and video. He is constantly projecting people, products and ideas into the national media. Kirk has a passion for music and major interest in people. He is also writing a novel which will be adapted to a screenplay.

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