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Matchmaking event scheduled for Thursday

Madison Mathews • Jul 16, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Small and mid-sized businesses will have the opportunity to seek partnerships with local and regional companies and municipalities during the fourth annual East Tennessee Business Matchmaking event, which is scheduled for Thursday at the Millennium Centre.

This is the first time the event has been held in Johnson City after years of taking place in Knoxville.

The event is hosted through the East Tennessee Purchasing Association in partnership with the Johnson City and Kingsport Purchasing Departments.

There will be more than 20 companies and governmental agencies acting as business matchmakers, including Eastman Chemical Co., Knoxville’s Community Development Corp., Sullivan County, and the cities of Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol and Knoxville.

Throughout the day, small businesses will meet with matchmaking entities in order to learn about possible business opportunities.

It’s an event that has been successful in getting other businesses with not only the city of Johnson City but also other local municipalities, according to Purchasing Director Debbie Dillon.

Those types of partnerships play an important role in bringing new businesses to the area.

“The city of Johnson City is doing business with more of these vendors that didn’t otherwise know how to approach us or how to get registered with the city of Johnson City. This new event is going to help our local small businesses,” she said.

Dillon said she sees the event as a beneficial way for both the city and outside businesses to possibly do business with one another.

“It’s a win-win. They may have some great pricing and products and services to offer and we just haven’t found each other yet. This is a great opportunity for them,” she said.

These types of events have become popular among municipalities who are looking for ways to expand their market.

Dillon said the matchmaking event is extremely helpful for small and mid-sized businesses since a number of corporations, larger businesses and local governments will be under one roof.

“It’s an effort to help position themselves for improvement and participation in the local economy with those entities or businesses. I think it expands their opportunities,” she said. “I think it also helps the city for better or for different resources. We could get some enhanced products or services that we don’t know of, so I think it’s really a win-win.”

Vendors who have registered for booths will able to set up Wednesday from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

The doors will open at 7 a.m. Thursday, with the event running from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission and parking for the event are free.

For more information, visit www.etpanews.org or call 975-2717.

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