Milford chamber to host community expo

Local businesses are gearing up for what is one of the top networking opportunities of the year in Milford.

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford (CCGM), the 7th annual Spring Expo will feature more than 30 of the chamber’s members Thursday, March 28 starting at 5 p.m. from inside Carlisle Fire Company.

CCGM’s Executive Director Jo Schmeiser hopes people from both Kent and Sussex counties attend the free event and take advantage of the information, door prizes and “tastes” from the businesses present.

“As the greater Milford area continues to grow, we offer this Community Expo to allow residents, employees and newcomers to the area an opportunity to meet so many local businesses and organizations at one time. Our vendors love this event because they not only get to meet several new potential customers, volunteers, clients, etc., from the folks that attend, they also have the opportunity to network with the other vendors before the doors open to the public,” Ms. Schmeiser said.

Vendor tables, she added, tend to sell out quickly for this popular event as businesses hope to reach a variety of new contacts. Like CCGM’s business members, visitors to the event also have a lot to gain from experiencing the spring expo.

“The public can expect to meet people from businesses and organizations ranging from financial institutions to local destinations like the Milford Museum. There will also be folks from local eateries, a distillery and beverage company providing free ‘tastes’ to attendees; and every vendor will be giving a door prize away,” she said.

Although the event runs annually, there are a few new-to-the-chamber vendors to visit that night, like Midway Services from Lincoln, Dover International Speedway and a brand-new business set to open April 1 in Greenwood – It’s all Country.

They are among more than 20 other businesses that have joined CCGM this year alone; Ms. Schmeiser and CCGM Board President Darel La Prade both said it’s a good indicator for continued business growth in the area.

“The business community in Greater Milford is definitely growing and businesses are expanding. Membership in our chamber is growing at commensurate rate, and since the beginning of the new year, we have added 26 new members. A growing membership base in the local chamber is an important economic metric.” Mr. La Prade said.

To support CCGM’s current business members and those to come as the greater Milford area grows, the chamber hosts monthly mixer events and seminars. Several times a year, the chamber also hosts larger events to benefit the community.

The next event will be the 8th annual Girls Night Out Friday, May 3 at Harrington Raceway & Casino benefitting both CCGM and People’s Place, a local organization that provides counseling services, relief from domestic violence, outreach for veterans and other services.

CCGM also hosts an annual golf classic in the summer and the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival in downtown Milford in the fall, followed by the Holiday Auction and Tastes of Milford during the holiday season.

“The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford is the largest business organization in the area, and our purpose is basically to promote economic development and the quality of life, so supporting our chamber allows us to provide more services, events and opportunities to accomplish our mission,” Ms. Schmeiser said, adding that the group has also worked with other local leaders to make community-wide impacts.

“The CCGM Economic Development Commission was instrumental in getting a new Welcome to Milford sign on the gateway from Route 1 south into Milford, as well as developing the community calendar;,” she said.

Dedicated business leaders and local volunteers work together year-round to make that impact in the community a reality through outreach and CCGM’s many activities, like the 2019 Spring Expo.

“The Community Expo is one our most popular events. The 35 vendor spaces sell out in two weeks, and the number of people who go through and visit with the vendors and each other is just phenomenal. People attending the expo will have the opportunity to enjoy samples from local restaurants, and a distillery and beverage company providing free ‘tastes’ to attendees. All 35 vendors will be giving a door prize away,” Mr. La Prade said.

The event on Thursday, March 28, is free to attendees. It is held at Carlisle Fire Company located at 615 NW Front St. in Milford.

Staff Writer Jennifer Antonik can be reached at

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