Kent's first-ever Business Expo is Wednesday, Kent Chamber of Commerce organizes it
By BRIAN BECKLEY
Kent Reporter General assignment reporter
September 30, 2009 · 3:48 PM
Kent residents looking to see what their town has to offer will get their opportunity Wednesday at the ShoWare center when nearly 90 local business will gather for Kent's first Business Expo.
Hosted by the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Allied Waste Services, the expo will bring 88 Kent businesses and 10 restaurants together under a single roof in support of the "You can find it in Kent" program, which encourages people to shop locally.
"The purpose of the expo is to focus on Kent businesses and let Kent residents know what's out there for them," said Kent Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andrea Keikkala.
The "shop local" program is another push by the chamber to convince residents to spend their money in town instead of letting that sales tax go to other municipalities.
The program is a collaborative effort between the chamber, the city of Kent, the Kent Reporter, the Kent Downtown Partnership and Kent Station. Its official launch is Oct. 13, with a downtown rally.
"When you buy in Kent, money stays in Kent," Keikkala said.
Along with the opportunity to see 88 local businesses under one roof, the expo will also feature a lecture series open to all.
The first lecture of the day is scheduled to be "The art of making a good first impression," given by Lisa Voso, a local attorney who also owns the Voso Impact, a speech and presentation company.
An economic forecast luncheon will follow Voso at 11:30 a.m. and also is open to the public, though there is a $30 fee for the lunch.
The afternoon will kick off with "Evaluate and improve the security of your facility," with speakers Shannon Summers and Jim Payne of Sonitrol Pacific, a regional security company.
The Business Expo also will feature an emergency-preparedness symposium, which, according to Keikkala, will focus on preparing for all emergencies, not just this winter's potential flooding.
From 5-7 p.m., dinner will be served in the form of a "Taste of kent" in which the 10 restaurants in attendance will offer samples that the public can eat while checking out the booths.
While nothing will be for sale at the expo, Keikkala said the main goal is to expose more Kent businesses to area residents.
"We worked to provide a low-cost way for businesses to advertise and get the word out," she said. "We thought with the economic recession this would be a perfect forum.
The Business Expo is scheduled for 10 am to 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at the ShoWare Center. It is free and open to the public. For more information on the Buisness Expo, visit www.kentchamber.comContact Kent Reporter General assignment reporter Brian Beckley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5054.