He came with high hopes and expectations for being able to promote his landscaping business, and he said he felt it was worth it.
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and they’ve gotten to know my business,” he said. “And it helps that I have a website up and running so people can find me online now.”
This was the kind of marketing and networking that organizer Elaina Beeman hoped would happen at the Black Business Expo. It was the second part of a weekend event that featured a focus on businesses of the past Friday night and businesses of the present on Saturday.
“We want to let the community know that we have businesses here that have been here for a long time that people don’t know about,” she said. “We want to help small business owners with networking and marketing so that they can grow, because they’re not growing enough at the moment.”
Beeman said fear of the economy continuing to stagnate and fall back into a recession has many minority business owners concerned about the health of their own businesses. She said many have struggled to stay open.
“We heard a lot of that (Friday) night from previous business owners,” she said. “And these days, if you live in a one-parent household and are trying to run a business, you have to make hard choices between your business and your family.”
But she said help is out there for business owners who look. Beeman said the networking and marketing opportunities at the expo are just one of many examples, such as joining the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce and taking advantage of the free classes they offer to members.
Beeman said the goal is to continue holding the expo monthly.
“We need to help our local businesses,” she said. “It’s no longer about how centrally located you are in the community. We all have to come together and help spread the word about all the businesses we have here so we can help them grow and help each other.”