Hundreds flock to Business Expo

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The First National Bank Arena on Arkansas State University's campus was full of people on Wednesday.

People from all over the area came out to be a part of the 28th annual Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

Cardwell resident Debbie Harmon said she's been coming to the event for years.

"We've been coming to the expo ever since they've been having them," Harmon said. "We absolutely enjoy finding things we didn't know existed around the area. And getting a few freebies is always nice as well."

Harmon said she always finds the information she gets and the people she meets helpful.

"The Expo is valuable," Harmon said. "Not only for the businesses in town to interact with other businesses. Just a person, in general, comes in and never thought of doing this and all the sudden you've found someone who can do it. Different rehabilitation and nursing services. Had a wonderful lady from a Faith Funeral Service from Manila talk to us. Gave us so much really good information. We talked to her at length for 15 or 20 minutes probably. She was really intelligent and very helpful. So, we've had several that we enjoyed seeing and it's been wonderful."

But the event is not just for businesses.

Superintendent of the Jonesboro School District, Dr. Kim Wilbanks, said it's a wonderful opportunity for schools, as well.

"This Business Expo always gives you an opportunity to not only showcase your own business or school," Dr. Wilbanks said. "But also, just another opportunity to network with other individuals in our community. I've had the pleasure of participating in the Business Expo both as an exhibitor and as a patron who got to visit with other individuals in our community. And it's just such a wonderful opportunity for you to see folks who are in our neighborhood who we very often just don't get to see every day because we're all busy at our own places of employment."

Dr. Wilbanks said the expo works as an opportunity to exchange information with others.

"One of the things I think is so beneficial to a school," Dr. Wilbanks said. "Is very often after your students are out of school and after your children have graduated, you don't have an opportunity to interact with educators and just have an opportunity to ask what's going on and what's different. And it gives us a chance to tell people who may not know about our district or just about education and what's happening today. It gives us a chance to visit with them and talk to them and let them find out more about us."

Around 250 booths were set up at the event.

It kicked off at about 5 p.m. Tuesday and ended about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

For more information about the Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce, click here.

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