Fairview Park is taking a page from its neighbor to the north and starting its own business expo.
But unlike the Rocky River Business Expo, which has been promoted largely as a business networking opportunity, Fairview Park’s event will be geared more toward consumers.
The Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase is tentatively scheduled to take place May 12 at the Gemini Center, the city’s recreation center that opened in 2008.
Angelo Russo, a Fairview Park attorney and board member of the Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce, said the intent of the expo is to promote local businesses to the average resident.
“We’re looking to try and get the citizens to come in and see the businesses that are in Fairview Park and supporting Fairview Park,” Russo said.
Because local businesses pay the taxes and supply jobs, they deserve the community’s support, he said.
“I’d like to see people support the businesses that are here,” Russo said.
Planning for the expo is still in the early stages. The Chamber of Commerce has held just one meeting to organize the event.
“We’re hoping to start soliciting businesses at the beginning of the year so they can sign up,” Russo said.
The Chamber is planning to post flyers advertising the expo in the windows of local businesses. Post cards will also be mailed to all residents informing them of the event, Russo said.
The cost for exhibitors has tentatively been set at $150 for businesses that are members of any area chamber of commerce, and $225 for non-chamber members, Russo said. Fees will be higher for those who reserve tables after a yet-to-be-determined early bird registration date, he added.
Admission to the expo will be free for the general public, Russo said.
While Russo is heading up the effort, the expo was the idea of Fairview Park Economic Development Director Jim Kennedy.
“Rocky River has a very successful program,” Kennedy said. “I felt it was time we did something like that in Fairview Park.”
Kennedy said the goal is to have a minimum of 50 local businesses participate.
The city will support the event any way it can, Kennedy said.
Kennedy noted most of the businesses in Fairview Park are retail establishments.
“The objective is to create an event that helps the businesses and, at the end of the day, hopefully increases their business,” he said.
Now in its eighth year, the Rocky River Chamber’s expo typically draws over 1,000 attendees. Business Expo 2010, held in October at the Rocky River Don Umerley Civic Center, had 107 exhibitors.