Attendees were covered from birth to end of life at Thursday's 2013 Jacksonville-Onslow Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.
With more than 100 vendors providing information on topics including healthcare, education, insurance, car dealers, home financing and improvement, physical fitness, hospice, funerals and more, the expo offered something for every aspect of life and business in Jacksonville, Onslow County and beyond.
The four-hour event -- held for a second year at the Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center -- was well-organized, said Travis Martin, a hearing aid specialist with Miracle Ear.
"The chamber did a wonderful job," he said. "There was good communication leading into the expo and the event was reasonable for vendors and those who attended."
Admission was $5 for the event. The Daily News offered a $2 off coupon in several editions of the newspaper leading up to the event.
The small price was well worth it, said Matty James, a Marine widow who was interested in area healthcare services.
A plethora of information awaited her. Representatives from chiropractic offices, a dentist, mental health providers, gyms, a medical supply store, home health and physical therapy services were on hand to answer questions and talk about possible appointments.
The vendors were from as far as New Bern and Wilmington.
"We get a lot of referrals from Jacksonville. We wanted to come and say hello and meet people," said Erin Balzotti, the marketing and public relations coordinator for New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
This was the first year for the hospital.
Another first timer, home lender Veterans United, was also getting to know the public and other businesses.
"We've been operating for almost two years; we focus on veterans, but work with anyone" said branch manager Phyllis Gatlin.
She said the event was very enjoyable.
"It was a good turnout," she said.
Johnson Funeral Home is a permanent fixture at the expo, having participated every year of the events nearly two decades.
"We make good contacts," said Forrest Brown, a funeral home representative. "We've seen a lot of interest. People want to be prepared."
The chamber switched venues and approach last year, focusing on business-to-business relationships while maintaining its appeal for everyone, said Million Heir-Williams, the chamber's vice president.
The chamber partnered with the City of Jacksonville to host the event.
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