Richmond News Staff
Twenty-eight area businesses have registered to participate in the first annual Richmond Area Business Expo, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at Richmond City Hall gymnasium. The event is free to the public.
Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce organizers say the expo is geared toward bringing more exposure for area businesses to its consumers to “see what we have to offer,” as the expo slogan says.
“The expo will provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase themselves and really let folks know what they have to offer. Many times, individuals are not fully aware of what is really available in Richmond and Ray County,” said expo co-chairman Ron Brohammer.
The event includes hourly door prizes from participating businesses, free blood pressure checks from Ray County Health Department and Ray County Memorial Hospital, a drawing for a free Kindle Fire and other entertainment. Nadler’s Catering of Wellington has donated a carry-out meal for 20 as the grand door prize, Renea Williams, Richmond area chamber of commerce director, said. Even the Easter Bunny will make his rounds at the expo to greet guests.
“We want to make it a fun and informative annual event,” said co-chairman JoEllen Black. “The ultimate goal is for local businesses to connect one-on-one with the community to create more business opportunities for them.”
Richmond Recreation Department will sell hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, candy and beverages at the event. Proceeds to go toward gymnasium improvements.
“The floor in the gym and the gym itself are nearly 60 years old, and we will soon have to replace the floor. We hope to get the floor replacement underway within the next year or two. As this will be a very expensive undertaking (well over $100,000) we are seeking ways to fund that – activities such as the expo are helping us to begin building the floor replacement fund.”
A small portion of booth rentals will also go toward the gym floor replacement fund.
Brohammer, also Richmond’s city administrator, recently cited nearly 70 cents of every Ray County dollar is spent in other counties. That forces local businesses to scramble for the remainder. Limited in-county purchases also impacts sales tax receipts for city general funds and its ability to fund projects and payrolls to desired levels.
“The expo also provides an outstanding opportunity for the community to come together and visit and share ideas about, not only what we have, but also what we need,” Brohammer said.
Richmond Area Business Expo
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
City Hall gymnasium, 205 Summit St.
Free to the public