Getting firsthand information about different businesses in Surry County normally might require hours of driving around and legwork, but next week the community can see them under one roof.
That will be possible through an annual expo called BizFez, which has been held since 2011 to celebrate the variety of products and services in the county. It builds awareness about these among the public, while also providing participating businesses an opportunity to network with each other.
The seventh-annual event will be held next Thursday afternoon in the large meeting room at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy. It is being spearheaded by the Surry County Economic Development Partnership along with the Greater Mount Airy and Yadkin Valley chambers of commerce, with Surry Telephone Membership Corp. as sponsor.
It will be free and open to the public from 1:30 to 6 p.m.
“In the past, we’ve had around 300 people,” Emily Venable, an administrator with the Economic Development Partnership and a key organizer of BizFest, said of overall attendance.
The schedule for participating businesses runs from noon to 6 p.m., which initially will include a leadership seminar led by Chad Tidd of Chick-fil-A, recently named Small Business of the Year in Mount Airy.
Participating companies or agencies will be assigned to individual stations where visual displays and information about their products or services can be featured, with some to distribute “goodies” such as pens and other items to passersby.
“Right now, I have 40 vendors signed up,” Venable said Thursday.
“I can still take more — the more the merrier,” she added of the sign-up process that will continue well into next week.
Among those registered so far are media and broadcast organizations, banks, rental and building supply firms, health-care providers, insurers, accounting firms, trucking and pest-control companies, a building and truck accessory manufacturer and the Better Business Bureau.
A $200 fee is required for vendors/exhibitors, who must be members of the Economic Development Partnership or one of the chambers to participate. Registration can be processed on the economic group’s website at surryedp.com.
BizFest focuses on building business-to-business relationships, giving participants the chance to create more in-county referral and other opportunities while also supporting growth of the local economy.
Venable indicated that, in light of BizFest’s importance to the economy, the event is being heavily promoted in the area, including the placement of changeable-copy digital signs which have been catching eyes at strategic locations.
“We really hope to get more people out there this year,” she said of the event at Cross Creek Country Club.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.