The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce will be giving people the chance to see what all the community has to offer this week with its annual Showcase Catoosa Business Expo slated to take place at the Colonnade Oct. 19.

The free event, which highlights various businesses within the county, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and will feature information about local shops, food, and giveaways.

Catoosa County Chamber Membership Coordinator Amy Jackson says the event grows each year and helps push the local economy.

"We will have over 75 vendor booths, and eight or more of them will be restaurants and caterers giving away free food samples," Jackson said. "As the program continues to grow, the Chamber is able to showcase additional businesses and encourage the community to shop local. When you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. The Expo benefits the entire community as we continue to encourage 'shopping local'."

This year's event is being sponsored by Capital Bank, the City of Fort Oglethorpe, and NHC Fort Oglethorpe. The event will also include door prizes and a silent auction.

"We will have a large silent auction and attendees can register to win our grand door prize of two roundtrip airline tickets from the Chattanooga Airport to New York City," Jackson said. "For the airline tickets, people have to register the day of event, but do not have to be present to win."

Food vendors in attendance will include; Buffalo Wild Wings, Catering by Alan, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, McDonald's, Panera Bread, Richard's Restaurant, and Zaxby's.

"We're inviting the community to 'take a break and sample Catoosa'," Jackson said.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.