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Expo to offer environmental tips

POSTED: February 5, 2014 1:11 a.m.

Some 70 area companies are preparing to showcase their products and services Tuesday at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Buy Local/Safe & Green Expo.

The event will provide “networking opportunities” for businesses and others attending the free event, “but it’s also about local businesses getting a chance to show people what they do,” said Megan Martin, the chamber’s vice president of membership development.

The expo used to be two separate events — one focusing on businesses and what they do, and the other on companies’ environmentally friendly practices.

“We’re combining the event for the second time,” Martin said.

The blending has worked out well so far, as both events “exhibit local companies,” and “it’s neat to see all that’s going on in Hall County — small to large businesses and manufacturers,” she said.

A wide cross-section of businesses, including retail and auto dealerships, has signed up to attend. And there should be a full house, as the chamber, as of Tuesday, had sold out the number of available exhibitor spots.

The event, taking place 2-7 p.m. at the Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St., also will feature workshops on how to reduce home and business energy use, protecting and increasing green space, and marketing tips “on how to create an extravaganza” at trade shows and networking events.

Rick Foote, EnviroShare coordinator for Hall County, will be co-presenting the energy workshop.

“We did a pilot workshop at a local church that worked out pretty well,” he said. “We’re expanding on that and continuing on. The first workshop we did was basically with a home focus, but since this has a business element to it, we were asked to broaden it to include businesses.

“We have some case study information from a local business that we’re going to be including and ... the Clean Air Campaign also is going to be helping us out, as well, with things like idle reduction and carpooling.”

A chamber “Business After Hours” event featuring food and a cash bar is set for 5-7 p.m. at the expo.

“Usually, there’s a charge to get into an expo or after-hours (event), but (visitors) can give at least a $10 donation toward United Way,” Martin said.

Those who donate will be entered into a drawing for one of Regions bank’s signature green bicycles, she said.

“And a helmet, too — you’ve got to be safe,” Martin said.


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