Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Outdoor furniture at the Grand Home Furnishings booth is put to use at the SML Business Expo.
Friday, April 26, 2013
It’s moved several times; battled rain and mud; withstood unseasonably high temperatures, windy conditions and parking problems; and added tents, exhibitors and even a whole new event, but the Smith Mountain Lake Business Expo not only has endured, it’s thrived.
Sponsored by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce , the expo marks its 10th anniversary when it opens at noon today at Downtown Moneta. It is designed to showcase and get the word out about local businesses, but there’s also plenty of networking and socializing among visitors who make their way through the maze of white tents.
Vicki Gardner, executive director of the chamber, described the expo as “a kickoff to spring and a community of families coming together once a year for a reunion.”
“We have a full complement of businesses representing the region all collected in one spot,” said Gardner. “It lets people see what we have here; it’s about taking pride in the community.”
The first expo was held at Bridgewater Plaza. Two years later, it moved to Westlake Business Park behind CVS Pharmacy, and in 2008, to a field across the street from Downtown Moneta. In 2009, it moved to its current location in Downtown Moneta.
The biggest change Gardner said she has seen in the past decade is how the familiarity among businesses has grown, which often leads to referrals, and, ultimately, more business.
Gardner said more than 120 businesses representing several counties and more than 1,500 visitors are expected between the hours of noon and 5:30 p.m. today. The one-day event is free and open to the public.
For the third year, the chamber will provide a Business Connection booth. Gardner said it’s designed to help chamber members with the process of hiring personnel, posting jobs and providing start-up information, along with materials and small business assistance.
Representatives from the Virginia Employment Commission, Small Business Development Center, Longwood University and SCORE Roanoke will be on hand to provide information.
On Saturday, the expo’s sister event, Rockin Brews & BBQ’s, will be held from noon until 6 p.m. at Downtown Moneta. The festival was started three years ago to get more use out of the tents the chamber rents for the expo.
A variety of barbecue will be available, and music will be provided by Tim Martin and Ministers of Soul. Other activities include Dave’s Moon Walk for children and an obstacle course for older kids.
The $5 admission fee includes two tickets that can be used toward food, beverages, children’s activities and for tasting one of the several craft beers available for purchase. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free.
Weather JournalWarmth next 2 days hits icy wall