The EMBDC's 24th Annual Main Event allowed businesses to showcase what they have to offer in terms of products and services.
It's designed for both the business and public sectors. Those in attendance were able to see what local business provide to the community. It is also a great way for local companies to fill a needed void in terms of service.
"An incredible success," said Curt Goldacker, chairman of the Red Cross board. "People are stopping by, getting information on how to prepare for a hurricane, tornado tips, getting information on how to volunteer, serve the armed forces, so it has been great."
It can be difficult for business owners to network with other local companies, but the Main Event provides such an avenue. The effectiveness of the Main Event in helping the Meridian business community is seen in the event's growth.
"In recent years, we've seen significant growth in terms of participation by the business community," said Wade Jones, president of the EMBDC. "We've seen it truly become a trade show. I think all of the companies take more pride in their booths and how they're designed, and the selling their product or service."
The East Central Chapter of the American Red Cross has been promoting their service, and getting results.
"We have given out 14 volunteer applications, primarily to nurses because we're always looking for volunteers to be able to come and help with any kind of disaster services, CPR training," said Goldacker. "You've got house fires, families dislocated from their homes, or any type of disasters that may happen. That's the kind of help that we need."
The Main Event allows businesses, no matter the size, to be able to showcase what they have to offer.
"We need to make sure that not only the larger corporations, represented by those recipients of the Hartley D. Peavey Entrepreneurial Award, but also small businesses participate," Jones said. "And that's what you see."
Jones said 75 percent of the jobs in our economy are produced by small businesses.