chamber business expo

Imagine it’s Oct. 18, a beautiful fall day, and you’re itching to do something a little different. You may have the whole day or just your lunch hour. You don’t want to go far and you want to have fun, maybe find some free food, sign up for some prizes and learn a whole lot about your community.

Enter the “Showcase Catoosa Business Expo.” The annual event held at the Colonnade in Ringgold features Catoosa and area businesses and agencies, but that hardly begins to paint a picture of what it’s like.

“Last year,” says Amy Jackson, membership coordinator for the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event, “we had 83 booths and nine food vendors covering 10,000 square feet of space. We expect 100 booths and 12 food vendors this year.”

Jackson says the food vendors are local restaurants and caterers giving away samples to entice folks to visit their places after the Expo.

Among the businesses that will be set up at the Expo are the event’s four Chamber-member corporate sponsors: Capital Bank, the City of Fort Oglethorpe, NHC Fort Oglethorpe and MedStat.

A tour of the Expo

Admission is free to the public. Enter the doors and sign up for the Grand Door Prize – two round-trip airline tickets to any non-stop destination from Chattanooga, courtesy of the Chattanooga Airport Authority. Inside, you’ll meet a festive atmosphere, helped along by DJ Mike Key of Mike Key Entertainment, and hundreds of friendly faces from local businesses, civic groups, agencies, non-profits and local governments.

Munch on food samples as you go the rounds and see what everyone has to offer. Sign up for more chances to win prizes at various booths – things like gift cards or a special product or service. Get a mini-massage and once you’re relaxed, visit a government booth and ask some of those pesky questions you were afraid to call about – they’re there to provide you with information.

When you’ve had your fill and learned all you need to know, head to the silent auction. There will be 75-100 items auctioned off, all donated by Chamber members. Items range from family passes to Rock City and Ruby Falls to restaurant gift cards, a Chiropractic pillow, gift baskets and free services.

Outside, the Mary Ellen Locher Mammography Mobile Unit will be offering free mammograms.

There’s still time for businesses that would like to be part of the Expo to get involved. For Chamber members, the cost for a booth is $225 and the donation of an item for the silent auction. For non-members, the cost of a booth is $400 and the donation of an item. Chamber members who cannot attend can still donate an item for the silent auction. Businesses can contact the Chamber at 706-965-5201.

Showcase Catoosa Business Expo

When: Thursday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold

Cost: Free admission