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Expo Visitors Meet the Businesses in Their Neighborhood

Despite windy, snowy conditions, about 2,000 people turn out for 27th annual Frankfort Business Expo.

Perhaps because of raw, wet weather complete with snow, the 27th annual saw steady traffic throughout the morning but was slower in the afternoon as the snow picked up. Still, about 2,000 visitors attended, said Frankfort Chamber of Commerce executive director Karen Blake.

“Everything went well,” said expo co-chairman Keith Ogle. “even ran out of their project kits for kids and they brought twice as many this year.”

Julian Bendy and his brother, Nicholas, of Frankfort, attended with their dad, Andy, and were hard at work building the Home Depot race cars.

“My wife’s at work, so we thought we’d come up here,” Andy Bendy said. “We just got here, and the boys wanted to do this first, so here we are.”

Over at the Affordable Concrete Raising booth, visitor Jane Bushong, of Green Garden, talked with Jane Van Oost about problems she was having with her stamped concrete walkway.

“My sister is here as a vendor, so I’m helping her with her booth, but yes, I’m also looking for some specific businesses that meet my needs,” Bushong said as she showed her pictures of how the money-saving, concrete-raising process works. The two exchanged business cards, with Van Oost promising to send a follow up e-mail with more information.

Down the row at , which has been in the same location in Frankfort for 30 years, owner Randy Van Kuiken explained why a longtime business would participate in the expo.

“We hope that there are new people to meet, and I’d say there are. We’ve already had to explain to 15-20 people in the first hour where we are,” he said. 

“Plus, I get to meet other businesses, and a large part of our volume of business is commercial,” Van Kuiken added.

Kim McAuliffe, owner of An English Garden and A Monster Mash Party Bash for Kids in Mokena, raved about Key Club member Liz Jones who donned a Stitch costume (from the Disney animated movie Lilo & Stitch) for McAuliffe’s booth, earning the student credit for club-required service hours.

“She’s just been great, and we love to work with the school and give back to the community,” McAuliffe said.

Teaming up with two other staff members from Frankfort Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, Dr. Jon Bullock explained why he values the expo.

“You have to do it with a little finesse and be very welcoming,” he said. “But when I’ve done these in the past, getting out and meeting the public, it’s always helped grow my business.”

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