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Nearly two-thirds of Fast Track booths rented
Trade show set for March 5-6
Friday, December 14, 2012
About two-thirds of the spaces for the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s annual trade show have been rented three months before the event is scheduled.
Fast Track 2013 is set for 4 to 8 p.m. March 5-6 at the Clock Tower Building at Commonwealth Centre, the former Tultex factory next to Franklin Street. The expo, which chamber officials say has become the largest trade show in the region, is designed to help local businesses and organizations showcase their products and services.
Next year’s show will include 158 spaces for exhibitors. Chamber President Amanda Witt estimated that two-thirds of the spaces already are rented.
The event covers three large rooms. Basically, two rooms have been sold out and now “we are working on selling out the back room,” Witt told the chamber’s board of directors Thursday.
“Hopefully, it will be another sold-out year,” she said.
The deadline to reserve a space is Jan. 4. For more information, call the chamber at 632-6401.
Some new exhibitors will be participating in Fast Track 2013, Witt said, although she could not immediately recall their names.
The show always is scheduled for a Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday is VIP Night, open only to invited guests as a way to help businesses network.
On Wednesday, the show is open to the public for a small fee.
Again in 2013, “The Taste of Martinsville-Henry County” will be featured on VIP Night. Visitors will be able to sample treats prepared by local restaurants and caterers.
Also at Thursday’s board meeting, the board received a report on the organization’s audit for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Chris Mallard, of Mallard & Mallard CPAs LLC, said the audit found no major problems with the chamber’s finances or its financial reporting.
Her only suggestion was for either the board chairman or treasurer to start reviewing monthly bank statements to boost internal controls. That will be done, said board Chairman Guy Stanley.
Mallard noted that revenue from membership dues increased by $2,341 to $116,717 in fiscal 2012.
“That is excellent” considering local economic conditions, she said.
“Apparently, people (and businesses) really appreciate the chamber,” she added. They “really stick with you and support you.”
The board approved three new chamber members — Martinsville Macaroni Kids, QLifts and The Harvest Foundation.
Two businesses, Badcock Home Furniture and Cockram Realty, were taken off the membership rolls. Chamber officials did not say why.
The chamber now has 636 members.
The board learned that “Discover MHC 2013,” a yearly magazine published by the chamber that highlights the community’s amenities for residents and visitors, recently was released.
It also found out that area employers have listed about 20 job openings on www.homeforholidaysjobfair.com. The website targets people originally from southern Virginia who now live elsewhere but may want to come back if they can find jobs in the region.