2013-04-18 / Front Page

Business expo at rec center Tuesday

By Tim Riel

With the seemingly neverending debates surrounding bridge tolling, what better time is there for the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce to hold its first business expo since November 2011.

With more than 20 participating businesses setting up tables at the rec center Tuesday, the expo is the perfect opportunity for residents to discover why almost everything they need can be found right in town.

“The expo is a great way for businesses to exhibit their wares and services, and it’s also a way for business owners to interact with each other,” said John Mc- Cauley, executive director of the chamber. “It’s a way to promote community.”

Once held annually, McCauley said business owners and the chamber’s board of directors think it’s better to have the expo on a biannual basis.

“Merchants have a lot going on, and it’s a lot to ask them to put a display together each year,” he said. “We hope holding it every other year will get people more excited about it.”

While there is nothing for sale at the expo, the main goal is for residents and business owners to meet and greet in an informal setting. There will also be giveaways and prizes, and McCauley says there will be plenty of free things.

“It’s like a trade show,” he said. “The merchants will have little treats like pencils, key chains and candy.”

The he laughed, “And the banks can give out cash.”

Not every Jamestown business is a member of the chamber, but for an island full of small businesses, he says it’s a cheap way for those companies to network within the community.

“For a small business, they have to examine what they can get out of it,” he said. “It’s difficult to say that being a chamber member guarantees a ton of referrals, but for such a small community, it’s a great way to interact with fellow business members.”

For small businesses, memberships start at $120 annually.

“We’re hoping the community will take an interest,” said Mc- Cauley. “It’s centrally located and we’d love to see people popping in to say hello.”

The expo will be held on Tuesday, April 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the recreation center. It’s free and fitting for the whole family, Mc- Cauley said.

Included at the expo will be BankNewport, Conanicut Marine Services, Diana Love Yoga, Island Realty, Jacks Electric, Jamestown Arts Center, Jamestown Designs, Cathryn Jamieson Salon, John A. Murphy Law and Lila Delman Realty.

Also, Lionel Champlin Guest House, Ocean Essence Spa, On the Record, PAWS New England, Peoples Credit Union, Sonia Morton Ranney Organizing, Kristine Trocki Law, View This and Washington Trust.

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