Food, prizes and fun

Com­mu­nity mem­bers con­nect at Busi­ness Expo

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - BY JUAN AVILA jlopez@porter­villere­corder.com

Many lo­cal busi­nesses and com­mu­nity mem­bers gath­ered Thurs­day evening at the Porter­ville Fair­grounds to learn from each other and make new con­nec­tions at Porter­ville Cham­ber of Com­merce’s an­nual Busi­ness Expo.

As peo­ple walked into the expo they had the chance to pick up a pass­port for the op­por­tu­nity to win one of the two fab­u­lous two-night ho­tel stays, one at the King Ge­orge Ho­tel in San Fran­cisco and the other at the Re­nais­sance Club Sport in Wal­nut Creek. Those who par­tic­i­pated had to take their pass­port to ev­ery booth and get it signed by one of the peo­ple staffing the booth.

This year’s Busi­ness Expo of­fered a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. Of the 50 busi­nesses par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event, many were giv­ing out food, while oth­ers were giv­ing out in­for­ma­tion on their prod­ucts and ser­vices. Even ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions like Porter­ville Col­lege, San Joaquin Val­ley Col­lege and Fresno Pa­cific Uni­ver­sity had booths.

Busi­nesses like Porter­ville Shel­tered Work­shop, Set­ton Farms, Hergesheimer’s Donuts, An­der­son and Bear As­so­ciates LLC., Rosa’s Ital­ian Off The Vine Ca­ter­ing, Porter­ville Col­lege and Spoons were all in at­ten­dance at the

expo..

Erica Lopez has lived in Porter­ville for more than 13 years and had never at­tended the an­nual busi­ness expo.

“I have lived here most of my life and it’s my first time com­ing,” said Lopez as she waited in line to get some of the de­li­cious food the Black Bear Din­ner was giv­ing away at their booth. “I just got out of work hun­gry and rushed to the expo and thank­fully there is food here.”

Lopez is part of the Porter­ville Head Start Home-based Pro­gram, and was also mak­ing sure to leave her own busi­ness cards at ev­ery booth.

It was Ce­leste Calderon’s first time at­tend­ing the Busi­ness Expo as well, and she de­cided to at­tend to learn more about the lo­cal busi­nesses in town since she just moved here from Ari­zona.

“I’ve been walk­ing around talk­ing to lo­cal busi­ness own­ers like Stafford’s Choco­lates, Cal­ico Mer­maid Quilt Fab­ric Shop, and some banks like Bank of the Sierra and Ben­e­fi­cial State Bank,” said Calderon. “It’s re­ally neat get­ting to min­gle and ask ques­tions while get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to win some prizes.”

Calderon sparked spe­cial in­ter­est among some of the bank­ing booths at the expo. She said she has been look­ing for a job, and it has def­i­nitely helped her to get to talk to per­son­nel from lo­cal bank branches.

“Porter­ville is a small town, but it’s nice to see that many lo­cal busi­nesses sup­port each other,” added Calderon. “I’m glad this expo ex­ists, I got a lot of nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion.”

At the expo there were var­i­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties to walk away with a hand­ful of good­ies given at the booths. The day ended with the an­nounce­ment of the two win­ners of the grand prizes.

First prize win­ner for a 2-night stay at King Ge­orge Ho­tel in San Fran­cisco was Michelle Robert­son, and the sec­ond prize win­ner for a two night stay at the Re­nais­sance Club Sport Ho­tel in Wal­nut Creek was Cliff Witt.

Those who at­tended also got the chance to win bas­kets full of good­ies from lo­cal busi­nesses. Each booth had a bowl where those who vis­ited were able to drop off their busi­ness cards, with the pur­pose of be­ing se­lected to win a bas­ket.

For more in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing fu­ture events, con­tact the Porter­ville Cham­ber of Com­merce at 559-784-7502 or info@ porter­vil­lecham­ber.org.

RECORDER PHO­TOS BY CHIEKO HARA

Guests en­joy vis­it­ing more than 40 lo­cal busi­ness booths Thurs­day, Oct. 11 at the 2018 Busi­ness Expo at the Porter­ville Fair­grounds.

At­ten­dees of the 2018 Busi­ness Expo were given a ‘pass­port’ which they could get signed off by the 40 lo­cal busi­ness booths for a chance to win big prizes Thurs­day, Oct. 11, at the 2018 Busi­ness Expo at the Porter­ville Fair­grounds.

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Check­ing on their pass­ports, Stacey John­son, left, and Tay­lor De Lussa make a plan to visit more than 40 lo­cal busi­ness booths Thurs­day, Oct. 11 at the 2018 Busi­ness Expo at the Porter­ville Fair­grounds.

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