Businesses find opportunities at community expo
Published 12:52 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Several businesses from throughout Franklin and Southampton County were at the Regional Workforce Development Center of Paul D. Camp Community College last Thursday evening, allowing residents to meet the people behind the scenes at their favorite local restaurants and shops.
This marked the 21st-consecutive year that the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which included over 50 food and shop vendors.
“With Small Business Saturday always the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, we host the event as a reminder for everyone to support the businesses in the area by doing their holiday shopping locally,” said Chamber Executive Director Teresa Beale.
The expo also serves as a helpful tool from the business perspective, as it allows owners to interact with one another, said Vic Story of Vic’s Signs and Engraving.
“I’m able to show off everything that my company does, including signage, engraving and banners, and I can network with the other companies here to create business relationships,” he said.
Story has attended the expo annually, and mentioned that he’s created signs for several companies in Franklin, including the posters that line the walls in The Tidewater News.
Some, such as The Back Porch & Grille at the Village at Woods Edge, haven’t been in business long enough to be afforded the same opportunities, however.
“We’ve only been around for two years,” said general manager Keith Edwards. “It helps us get the name out and gives us an opportunity to tell people about our restaurant.”
Edwards noted that his restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, and even ventures into catering on occasion.
“We do a little bit of everything,” he said.
The Back Porch & Grille was just one of the booths that were offering free samples to those in attendance. Bojangles, Huddle House, Peanut Patch and Farm Fresh also had residents jumping back in line for seconds.
Even Vic’s Signs and Engraving had some finger foods to attract potential customers to the business.
“The best food in here,” Story claimed to a passerby.
Beale laughed at that notion, but she said it’s great to see established businesses such as Story’s attending the event.
“It makes for great exposure and shows that businesses can thrive in and develop around Franklin,” she said.