Leader Blues

Monday, May 18, 2009

TOP STORY >> Fun, food and facts promised for expo

By EILEEN FELDMAN
Leader executive editor

Jacksonville’s Business Expo 2009 will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Jacksonville Community Center on Municipal Drive.

This year’s theme is “It Just Comes Natural” and the list of participating businesses and organizations promises that the event will be informative and one that should not be missed.“The 11th annual Jacksonville Business Expo is going to be better than ever.  With over 50 vendors and six food booths, there will be many things to see and do.  A great addition to the expo this year is the blood drive to benefit the American Red Cross,” said Laura Peeples, event coordinator for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event.

The eagerly anticipated annual event is a big draw for area businesses and residents alike. Admission and parking are free and there will be food available throughout the event from such vendors as Western Sizzlin’, Golden Corral, Bar-B-Que Shack, Tropical Smoothie, White Pig Inn and Los Rios Mexican Restaurant.

The expo is an opportunity for business patrons and residents to meet and greet local business representatives, elected officials and perhaps some who are running for office. There will be plenty of games to play offering some really super prizes and there will be lots of free items to take home such as pens, notepads, coffee mugs, tape measures, key rings, pamphlets and a wide variety of helpful information spanning the wide range of exhibits from financial information to healthy living.

A popular booth each year is that of gold sponsor North Metro Medical Center. The booth is staffed by the hospital’s registered nurses who perform on-the-spot blood pressure readings. The nurses also provide a wealth of health-related information from first aid to stroke prevention and identification.

The Business Expo is sponsored each year by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce in partnership with several area businesses who pledge various levels of sponsorship. Gold sponsors this year include First Arkansas Bank and First Arkansas Mortgage Company, Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Comcast, CenturyTel, Cool 104, Poster Boy Printing and the city of Jacksonville.

The Leader is one of this year’s gold sponsors and is providing the free Expo tabloid with a map of exhibitors and information on the sponsors.

This year’s silver sponsors include Woodland Hills of Jacksonville, Whit Davis Lumber, Ashland Performance Materials, First Electric Cooperative and the Patriot. Bronze sponsors include Access Rehab, C and J Gifts, Metropolitan National Bank and CenterPoint Energy.

Other businesses with booths at this year’s expo include Baptist Health Medical Center-NLR, Jacksonville Museum of Military History, U.S. Small Business Administration, Webster University, Families Inc. Counseling Services, the Arkansas Insurance Department, State Farm Insurance (Lauren Fowler, agent), Foxwood Golf Club, Fraley Roofing, Jacksonville Senior Center, Access Telephone Directories, Provident Business Solution, Lighthouse Academy, ADT Security Services, Greenbriar Retirement Center of Jacksonville, Arkansas State University and the law firm of Friday, Eldridge and Clark.