Tolland County Chamber of Commerce holds well-attended Business Showcase

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland County/South Windsor - posted Fri., Apr. 5, 2013
Tolland County Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase
Jeanette Westwood of Let's Get Organized Today, LLC, enjoys a moment of levity while talking about her business at the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce's Business Showcase on April 3. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Tolland County Chamber of Commerce may have had its best Business Showcase yet, certainly in terms of foot traffic and the impression left on the business owners. The event, which took place at Maneeley's Banquet Facility in South Windsor on April 3, attracted hundreds of people through the doors to visit with businesses owners and representatives who also took the opportunity to network with each other.

“As well as having several new vendors, we saw a lot of new faces,” said Chamber Executive Director Candice Corcione. “There were great prize donations and the raffles went continuously.”

“Everyone was excited and there was good energy,” said Chamber President Julie Paolino. “Everyone stayed until the end.”

The event was at capacity, in terms of vendors, and none could be found that were not pleased with the results. “It's wonderful, well-attended and people were interested,” said Mary Ann Dunbar, executive director of A Caring Hand, LLC. “It's good to see it supported by the businesses in the community. That's a wonderful step forward.”

“It lived up to expectations,” said John Leavitt of The Preschool of the Arts. “The synergy between the businesses gets better every year. We get to know more people and know what they do.”

Janice Messino – an Avon representative – said she is donating 30 percent of her proceeds for the Ellington High School chapter of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. “All of the bundles we're selling are just $10 apiece,” Messino said. “It's a great deal, and a great cause.”

The event was also the launching pad for a new initiative between the Chamber Insurance Trust and Big Y Foods, Inc. Big Y's Director of Pharmacy Jan Winn said Chamber members can now get 300 prescription medications for $9.99 or less, as well as flu shots for $19.99 and blood pressure screenings for $25. “We wanted to find a way to offer Chamber members a lower prescription drug cost,” Winn said. “We're trying to add value to the Chamber membership, to be a good partner. We've seen a lot of people with high co-pays who are interested. This plan is going to work very well for a lot of people.”

Corcione said the planning for next year's event literally began the day after the showcase, and there are no plans to change the formula. “We have affordable space, free admission, and the vendors have a three-hour period where they can market their business to the general public and the other businesses. All-in-all, I think it's a great way to showcase business.”

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