05/24/05 — Heavy turnout marks third Chamber business expo

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Heavy turnout marks third Chamber business expo

By Turner Walston
Published in News on May 24, 2005 1:51 PM

The Third Annual Business Expo drew hundreds of people to Goldsboro Country Club on Monday. Some sampled the food. Some took home samples of the items vendors had on display. Some even found time to conduct a little business.

The day-long event, sponsored by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, featured more than 75 businesses, from banks to bakers.

Chamber President Steve Hicks said the expo was more than just a show.

"People are actually doing business here," Hicks said. "We've had people that have actually sold merchandise and that have actually contracted jobs to people."

This year's event was more representative of the broad scope of the Wayne County business community than previous expos, Hicks said, with both locally-owned businesses and nationally-recognized chains in attendance.

"That really kind of reflects the overall membership of the chamber. That's what makes up our community," Hicks said.

Business representatives said they enjoyed the chance to not only show off their wares but to exchange ideas with other business owners and managers.

"It is such great exposure with the expo," said L.J. Stanley of Statewide Realty and Transport Insurance, "meeting and able to converse with people that need our services."

Stanley said a couple told him they had attended similar events in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem but found Wayne's better organized and more fun.

"This was they best expo they had ever attended," he said.

Business leaders said they viewed the expo as an opportunity to introduce new products.

Sean Nielsen, area supervisor for Pizza Inn, said the expo gave him a chance to introduce some new items on his menu.

"It's a good thing to be part of the community," Nielsen said, as people stopped at the restaurant's booth to sample the food. "A lot of people didn't know we had lasagna."

The highlight of the event came when Dough Henry Buick-Pontiac-GMC gave away a new vehicle. Josh Whitfield, 26, was the winner.

"It's been a great experience for us to get to know the community," said Sharon Davenport of Doug Henry. "Just to meet them and let them know we're here."