Tonawanda News

Business

March 22, 2009

BUSINESS: T-NT Expo has local owners showing their stuff

Amid an economy that’s all but bottomed out, a group of Twin City businesses threw in together Saturday for the annual T-NT Expo.

The Chamber of Commerce event, which allows the public the opportunity to meet nearly 100 local business owners and non-profit organizations, runs through today. Free admission and a host of potential profitable relationships are available for those in attendance, according to Joyce Santiago, the executive director for the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas.

The event is designed not for direct sales, but networking. It brings together small business owners from across the spectrum, and allows the public the chance to see what business they can do locally.

“The whole idea is to showcase the area businesses to local people,” Santiago said. She added that many people are surprised when they come to the Expo and see just how many businesses there are in the Twin Cities.

“It’s a great opportunity,” she said. “People can’t believe something like this is happening here (with) all these businesses in one place.”

For Tamara Owen, president of DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda, the Expo offers an opportunity to greet the public in a way that most events don’t allow. Hospital representatives were offering free screenings for body-mass index, blood pressure and bone density. But more important was the opportunity for Owen to get feedback from the public about the hospital and the services it provides.

“It gives us a chance to give back to the community,” she said. “It gives us the opportunity to have people come by and see the different services we offer.”

Now more than ever, Owen said, people are trying to stay close to home, and it bodes well for a community hospital when residents are more familiar with the variety of services that they can get without having to travel to Buffalo to visit larger regional hospitals.

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