Saddle Up, Abilene!

August 9, 2021Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber

Much of what happens within your Abilene Chamber of Commerce often goes unnoticed.  The work we undertake each day is part of a series of purposeful, incremental moves that together are designed to positively impact your business and our economy.

Whether it’s the 65-plus years of effort to support the mission of our air base or the hundreds of miles covered selling Abilene as a place for tourism, whether it’s the hours upon hours of work in the arts that brings national acclaim and a higher quality of life for our residents and businesses, or our work to attract and retain workforce and encourage downtown reinvestment, or our work with elected officials to enhance the conditions for business, one thing is for certain – those who are engaged in the Chamber’s work make really good things happen.

One of those “good things” is this week’s 2021 Business Expo.  You’d be surprised at how much planning and plotting has taken place over the course of months to ensure a great, safe opportunity for your business.

The dozens of Chamber members who’ve committed their time, talent and energy have done an amazing job in planning this year’s event.  And they’ve not turned a blind eye to our current Covid situation.  Short of shutting down the opportunity, they have talked with experts and Implemented a series of protocols designed to keep you and your as safe as anywhere else in our community.  I want to personally thank them for all the extra effort.

This year’s Expo, to be held on Wednesday, August 11 and presented by Lawrence Hall Abilene, Black Plumbing and Pest Patrol is themed “Back in the Saddle.”  It’s a western theme that I have no doubt will bring out the creativity and awesomeness of all who stage the 165 booths at the Convention Center.

Business Expo, the largest business-to-business networking event in West Texas offers free admission for Chamber members. Guests and prospective members pay $10 at the door.

The event will kick-off with a Ribbon Cutting at 9:30 AM, and doors open at 10:00 AM. Booths will close at 3:30 PM. Games and fun all day will take place on the Coca-Cola Southwest Beverage stage. You won’t want to miss it.

And then, at 4:30 PM I hope you’ll assemble in the Convention Center lobby for a special edition Business After Hours sponsored by Reed Beverage, First Bank Texas and Market Street.  In fact, for the first time in Texas, Yuengling Beer will be offered on-tap for those in attendance to try.  Be a part of history in the making.

You also won’t want to miss this year’s Live Auction, to be staged during Business After Hours in the Convention Center foyer. Sponsored by CBS insurance, this year’s auction will be bigger and better than ever and will feature amazing small business packages for marketing and employee appreciation. Take a look at all the packages available to you at the link HERE.

But none of this will occur without your safety in mind.  From health checks to hand sanitizing stations to  one-way traffic to constant site disinfecting (thank you to Abilene’s Germ Killer), our committee of your fellow members is doing all they can to ensure a safe and productive environment.  In fact, we understand the City of Abilene Health Department will be on-site at the Convention Center offering free Covid-19 vaccinations, should you be so inclined.  I encourage you to consider vaccination, if you haven’t already, as a means of protecting yourself and others.

Finally, this show has been a long time coming.  Last year’s event was moved to this week, and we’re grateful for all the talented and dedicated business owners and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make it happen.




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