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Chamber Expo, canceled twice, back on

by Byron Tate | May 1, 2022 at 2:12 a.m.
The Pine Bluff Convention Center is shown in this undated photo.

After a two-year hiatus, the Business Expo, one of the highest-profile productions put on by the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce, is back and things get rolling at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

“We are so excited about this year’s event,” said Jennifer Kline, chamber director and event organizer. “We are expecting a big turnout. The annual dinner in March was sold out, and people are just ready to get out.” The annual — well, annual before covid struck — hasn’t happened since 2019. It was canceled in 2020. And a year later, the event came within days of being held, but the delta variant of covid kept getting worse, and after much hand-wringing, officials pulled the plug on that one, too.

Now, a year later, covid is still hanging around, but it’s not nearly the monster that it was, so 2022 looks like a go.

Kline said more than 400 tickets have been sold for the Small Business breakfast, where the guest speaker will be Chris Robinson, athletic director for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. And some 1,200 are expected to come through the arena to visit with some 90 vendors who make up the Expo.

“This is a day when we celebrate our members and award our businesses for jobs well done,” she said. “This is a way to honor all of the chamber members for making the chamber what it is.” The event is decidedly a chamber function, but everyone is invited to attend the Expo, where the cost of admission is $5. Kline said the Expo is key to what the day is all about.

“Now that we can have the event, people will be able to mingle and network,” she said. “That’s one of the biggest benefits to the event. As vendors visit, so many times, one will discover what another business offers and how that service can help their own business. It’s why we do this.” There will not be any covid protocols in place at the event, although there will be masks and hand-sanitizers available. Kline suggested attendees follow their own safety protocols based on their own vaccination status and health situation.

Business Expo 2022 schedule

Thursday, May 5, Pine Bluff

Convention Center

Small Business Breakfast

Food served: 7:30 a.m.

Breakfast program: 8 – 9 a.m.

Speaker: Chris Robinson,

UAPB Athletic Director

Expo

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. VIP Hour

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open to the

General Public

$5 Admission for Expo


Business Expo 2022

List of businesses and other entities with booths at the Expo.

Access - Project SEARCH

Anna Grace Beauty

ARESC - Hippy

Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield

Arkansas Department of Corrections

Arkansas Hospice

Arkansas Insurance Division - AR SHIIP

Arkansas Printing Company

Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston

Beyond Clean Janitorial

Brumett Agency, Inc.

CARTI Cancer Center

Central Moloney

Child Care Aware of West Central AR

Committee to Elect Sandra Young Harris

Cross Hope Treatment Centers

DeltaPlex

Direct Auto

Discount Auto Glass

Doctor's Orders Pharmacy

East Harding Construction

Edward Jones Investments

Emergency Ambulance Services, Inc.

Entergy Arkansas

Evergreen Packaging

FBT Bank & Mortgage

Food Smart

Grace Community Church of the Nazarene

Hampton Inn & Suites by HILTON Hotels

Hearing Life

Highland Pellets

Jackie Harris for Circuit Judge

Jefferson Comprehensive Care System, Inc

Jefferson County Assessor

Jefferson County Clerks Office

Jefferson County Judge's Office

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Jefferson County Recycling

Jefferson County Tax Collector

Jenkins Memorial Center & Industries, Inc.

Keathley Patterson

Lakeside United Methodist Church

LeafFilter Gutter Protection

LEAPS Initiatives, Ephesus Christian Bookstore

Liberty Utilities

McFarland Eye

Milner Insurance

MK Distributors, Inc.

Pain Treatment Centers of America

Pine Bluff Arsenal

Pine Bluff Aviation Commission

Pine Bluff Commercial

Pine Bluff Jefferson County Public Library

Pine Bluff Police Department

Pine Bluff Truck and Trailer Inc.

Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility

QualChoice Health Insurance

Razor Shred

Refined Body + Wellness Oasis

Relyance Bank

Ritter Communications

Seal Smart, LLC

Simmons Bank

South Arkansas Business Solutions

Southeast Arkansas College

Southwest Employee Assistance Programs, Inc.

State Farm Insurance - Aaron Loetscher

Tara Promotional Products

TPC (The Payroll Company)

Trinity Village, Inc.

Trio Program Delta EOC

Trotter Toyota

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

UAMS South Central Center on Aging

Watson Chapel School District

SOURCE: Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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