July 25, 2017 | Community |
More than 90 businesses gathered in the Ganus Activities Complex on July 25 for the annual White County Business Expo hosted by the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The event, themed “Red, White County and You,” was an opportunity for local business owners to interact with customers, entrepreneurs and other business owners in the surrounding community.
“The more local businesses grow, the more the local community grows with it — opportunity for more jobs, more employment and city growth,” said Haley Burkhead of Think Idea Studio, an advertising agency in Searcy. “It’s really good to invest in the businesses and business owners we have, lift them up, and let them know they’re doing something great for our community because they truly are.”
Burkhead said Think Idea Studio’s clientele is mostly local businesses — both large and small — and the collaboration between the community and businesses at events like the White County Business Expo is essential for growth of the area and local economy.
“There’s a big movement nationally right now to renovate and revitalize downtowns and local businesses, and it’s great to see how the community here is really embracing that, too,” Burkhead said.
The reach of the event went beyond White County with local businesses like 101.9 The Lake, a radio station out of Heber Springs, Arkansas, in attendance. Cynthia Herrin, who manages sales and community events for the station, said they love when they can help promote community events and even support local businesses through advertising and promotion.
“Even though we’re [in] Heber Springs, we reach far beyond and advertise for businesses out of Searcy and White County,” Herrin said. “When people turn on their radios, we hope they’re tuning to our station, but we also hope we’re helping local businesses grow at the same time. That’s really important to us.”
In addition to participating in the expo as a venue for the first time, the University also created a directory of information to outline services the school provides to the community.
“Since joining Harding last year, I have been continually amazed at the volume and value of services Harding provides to the community,” said Jana Rucker, vice president for university communications and marketing. “I noticed we didn’t have a single location to find what is available. To that end, my office created a services directory that was printed and distributed to the community and is housed on a page on the Harding website.”
This 16-page services guide highlights a variety of opportunities in areas such as arts, athletics, business, education, facilities, retail, food and drink, and medical and counseling services. From sports and music camps and tutoring services to event venues and medical clinics, Harding provides a number of services from which citizens of White County can benefit.
“We hope the guide will help better connect the local community with these offerings, and build stronger ties between the Harding community and the White County community,” Rucker said. “We appreciate all our colleagues who contributed to pulling this together. The guide is a work in progress, and we hope everyone will continue to send in new offerings.”
For more information about Harding services offered to the local community, visit harding.edu/community.