Record number of businesses participate in annual Business Expo - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Record number of businesses participate in annual Business Expo

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - As lawmakers focus on jobs in Madison, an event in Eau Claire puts the spotlight on local businesses. 

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Expo on Tuesday.  More than 150 businesses set up shop, a record for the event.  Of those, about 40 were there for the first time. 

As a relatively new business to the Eau Claire area, The By Design Group wants to get its name out into the community. 

"Interior design, corporate and residential window treatments, we have a graphic artist and we do business branding, logo design and creation," says Valerie Coushman, The By Design Group. 

To help, this group of local professionals decided to participate in the Chamber's annual Business Expo. 

"We're really big on working with local businesses and working with the Chamber and we thought it was important to come here and meet more people, more potential clients, potential vendors," says Coushman. 

Applied Data Consultants has been in the area for the past 15 years, but this is the company's first year at the Business Expo. 

"Our biggest goal is that networking piece, talk to other business owners," says Jim Ward, Applied Data Consultants President.  "There's so much you can learn I think by finding out who's doing what and how they're doing it, how they're getting through the recession, what marketing techniques they might have and a lot of collaboration." 

Besides connecting with clients and other businesses, the event is a way to promote local business as a way to grow the economy. 

"We'd love to see everybody do as much business locally as they can, who knows who's going to bump into somebody that says 'you and I can partner on some things.," says Bob McCoy, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce President. 

"There's companies here that do a great job, you're probably going to save money," says Ward.  "Anyone that can do something local, you're probably going to get the services or products a little bit cheaper, so it's sort of a win-win." 

The business expo also featured a number of seminars such as ways to help companies cut costs and improve sales.

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