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Business Expo draws a crowd

Bill Sadler, vice chairman of resources for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, prepares to award a door prize at the biennial business expo. Chamber officials are thinking about making it a more frequent event.

Bill Sadler, vice chairman of resources for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, prepares to award a door prize at the biennial business expo. Chamber officials are thinking about making it a more frequent event.

— ther attendees about their businesses and his, but in between those times he drew out names to announce door prize winners. In his spare time, Sadler distributed free “mockaritas” — a good impression of a margarita, just without the alcohol. Sadler owns Sadler Retirement in Albany. He also happens to be vice chair of resources for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate small business and to help the owners interact and network with one another,” Sadler said. “Already today I’ve met 30 or 40 people I didn’t know before I walked in here. That kind of success translates into business opportunity for everyone.”

Sadler said the Business Expo has grown in popularity over the years to the point he believes it should take place once each year rather than on the current biennial schedule.

“Why not have it every year?” Sadler said. “If I have anything to do with it we will.”

Most business types were represented at the Expo, including law firms, institutes of learning, banks, investment firms, restaurants, zoos and hospitals.

Linda Gibbs, a sales representative with Colson Printing, came from near Valdosta to hobnob with other vendors and to show them what her company can do.

“We do a lot of printing already for the chamber and for other companies,” Gibbs said. “We’re here to let other businesses check us out and see some samples of our work.

Tracy Wallace said the YMCA depends largely on corporate memberships and appreciates the opportunity to network with other businesses and their employees and talk with them about their wellness needs.

Steve Dubravcic, president of Atlantic Pallet Exchange, came in part to promote a new arm of an older company.

“We’re trying to develop a part of our business called Go Ape Logistics and we’re looking for some local exposure,” Dubravcic said. “We provide business customers with third party logistics including warehousing, distribution, freight services and trailer services.

Chis Hardy, president and CEO of the chamber, agreed with Sadler about increasing the frequency of the event.

“When you do it more consistently, word of mouth begins to spread,” Hardy said. “We’ll get more vendors and get more attendance population.”

Hardy said that while he didn’t have a final count on the number of attendees, his best information indicated a turnout of nearly 50 vendors.