AUGUSTA — Networking is the key to success for many businesses, so the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce is expanding those opportunities at one of its marquee events.

On Wednesday, the chamber hosts the Business EXPO, where networking will take center stage for hundreds of attendees.

Ross Cunningham, the chamber’s president and CEO, said this year’s event was expanded into the main auditorium at the Augusta Civic Center to meet the demands of the growing region. “This is a great opportunity for business professionals and the general public to come out and learn what our region has to offer,” he said.

Emery’s Meat and Produce, with markets in Gardiner and Newport, is one of more than 100 exhibitors expected to set up shop in the main auditorium from 4 to 7 p.m. to show off what they do. In Emery’s case, it’s locally raised meat, locally raised produce and locally caught fish.

This is the first year Emery’s business has taken part in the expo because this is the first year his business has been a member of the Kennebec Valley chamber.

“It’s so important to get that kind of exposure,” Emery said. “It’s been huge for our business. We’ve met a lot of other business people who are looking for a higher-end product who had not had any exposure to us. Now they know because of the networking we’ve done.”

Emery said several area meat markets have closed recently. “That’s not something we want to see happen. We want to see everyone thrive.”

As much as membership has brought him new customers, he has the chance to reciprocate and become a customer to other businesses. “Every meeting I go to, I learn something new from my peers,” he said.

The expo returns to the main auditorium this year after a number of years in the north wing to accommodate an increase in exhibitors.

Admission is $5 at the door, or free with a business card.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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