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SCV Chamber’s EXPO Builds Networking, Relationships for Local Business

Posted: October 18, 2013 7:56 p.m.
Updated: October 18, 2013 7:56 p.m.
 

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is launching its 29th annual Business and Home EXPO Oct. 19 on Main Street in Newhall with a family friendly focus.

Each year since its inception, the EXPO has aimed to connect local business owners with the people they serve, especially new faces.

Different from past years, however, the EXPO arrives this year with a carnival and farmers market. Striving to be more than just a business event, the EXPO provides a fun, community-oriented platform for information, networking and personalized service.

“Our original goal was to give exposure to the Santa Clarita Valley business community, highlighting businesses that people may not know are there,” said Chris Donald, the event coordinator. “Businesses can build relationships with the people that stop by their booths. It’s not cold-calling; it’s not research on the internet.”

The face-to-face interaction with brand new customers facilitates more lasting relationships and goes beyond a one-time visit, Donald said.

“People can meet contractors and feel comfortable with them working in their home,” Donald said. “Or you can start a new relationship with a bank if you’re in the market.”

To encourage a fun, community feel, the carnival will run from Thursday to Sunday, open the while day on Saturday. For kids, there will be face-painting, a pumpkin decorating contest and the Shakey Quakey Schoolhouse for earthquake awareness.

In addition to the carnival will be a farmers market for adults and families.

“It’s been an easy sell,” Donald said. “It’s more than just a business expo.”

The event is projected to be larger than last years, which is in-line with previous growth.

“Each year, the event grows a little bit. We have more than 125 booths this year and about 90 booths last year,” Donald said. “We have more new vendors this year than in previous years.”

Nonprofits are well-represented this year, and many will host fundraising events for various causes or their organizations. Stretching beyond the average range of services, this year’s event also offers the first pavilion for green businesses, highlighting eco-friendly efforts from solar energy to water reclamation to a craft business.

The economic impact of the event will be huge for businesses on Main Street, as well.

“We encourage all the businesses on Main Street to stay open during EXPO hours to pick up on spare traffic,” Donald said. “Some of the smaller businesses may not see 5,000 people in a normal day.”

Because of the layout of the event, the sidewalks are open for foot traffic, increasing business to all stores in proximity, he said.

“The EXPO is very accessible for various levels of business, whether it’s a mom-and-pop, an out-of-home business or a corporate level bank,” Donald said.

 

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