For Businesses And The Community

Clayton Chamber holds ‘Business & Community Expo’

Vendors, such as Southern Regional Medical Center, Georgia Power, Clayton State University, Clayton County Public Schools, and many others, were present to demonstrate their services and share information with participants in the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Development Group’s “Sixth Annual Showcase Clayton Business & Community Expo.”

The networking, interactive event was held Thursday at the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro.

Jessica Kinard, manager of events and programs for the Clayton Chamber, said there were 70 vendors participating, this year, compared to 62 vendors last year.

She said the event has grown in size and scope each year, mainly because businesses continue to discover its value.

The success of the expo also is driven by people from the surrounding community, who come to see what local businesses are doing and have to offer, she said.

“It’s important for the residents of Clayton County to know what services they have in their own backyard,” said Kinard. “This is also a way for [businesses] to showcase their services and products to the community, as well as ... build partnerships with other businesses.”

Simply put, she said, it’s a great networking opportunity for both parties involved.

The event also had raffle prizes for participants, and food demonstrations from the culinary arts program of Atlanta Technical College.

Janet Tyree, of Jonesboro, said she attended the expo for the first time to see what the county had to offer. “I am trying to find out what ... resources we have,” she said.

Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox said he came by to see what was going on in the county’s business community. He said he is glad the event was held in Jonesboro, because it allows traffic to flow through the city, and expose people to what it has to offer.

“Any event like this is good,” said Maddox.

Amanda Chatham, of AAA Auto Club South, in Morrow, said the company has participated in the expo for the last four years. Being part of the expo is beneficial for AAA, because it helps the organization reach the community, she said.

“There are more people that come through here, than they would at our office,” she said.

Norma Miller, of Radiation Oncology Services in Riverdale, said the cancer-care facility was a vendor at the event, in order to educate the public about its location and services. “We wanted to make sure people know where we are, and what we do,” she said.

The expo also included businesses from Fayette, Fulton and Henry counties, added Chamber President and CEO Yulonda Beauford. She said more vendors were part of the event this year because the Recreational Outreach Center at the church provided more space.

The sixth annual event marked a new partnership between the chamber and the church, she added. “Since we’ve started the expo, we’ve seen continuous growth,” said Beauford, who added that the expo began in 2004, to allow businesses in the community to advertise themselves.