Business expo boasts large turnout at Convo Center

By Nina Gougis

DeKalb residents and NIU students not only received free gifts from businesses at the Kishwaukee Valley Community Expo Thursday, but food and entertainment were also provided.

More than 1,000 people attended the second annual expo at the Convocation Center in order to meet representatives from nearby businesses who handed out gifts like fliers, pens and magnets for visitors.

The event, hosted by the DeKalb and Sycamore chambers of commerce, featured 94 businesses, performances from local musicians and several raffles for free products or services.

Old Second Bank, 1810 DeKalb Ave., was there to promote its Oct. 23 fall Customer Appreciation Day to thank residents for welcoming it into the community, financial service associate Kim Egger said.

The newly established bank gave raffle tickets to win one of five prizes, including a leaf blower, a theater-popcorn maker and cash prizes.

The expo was also a chance for older businesses to promote new services. DeKalb Clinic, 217 Franklin St., introduced three of its new physicians at the expo. In addition, the clinic promoted a new podiatry service.

Dr. Raymond O’Hara, the clinic’s new podiatrist, said he enjoyed meeting people from local businesses and residents.

“It is important to let everyone know what you do and educate as many people as you can,” O’Hara said.

Seventeen-year DeKalb resident Joe Miller said he enjoyed seeing familiar local businesses promoting themselves.

“It is good to see businesses nowadays that try to be a good part of the community,” Miller said.

Other residents, such as Martha Barr of DeKalb, said they were surprised by the large number of businesses at the event.

The number of businesses and visitors pleased Kim Kubiak, executive director for the DeKalb chamber. Kubiak said she was sure the turnout of visitors exceeded the 1,200 in attendance last year.

Next year’s expo is planned for the Convo Center again, Kubiak said. She also plans to have an even larger crowd.