ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The 2023 Business Expo was held Wednesday at the Abilene Convention Center. The expo was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and welcomed 38 new businesses this year, totaling 220 exhibitors. Business Expo co-chair Kelly Jay shared that this is a good event for networking.

“We do it every year because we support small businesses through the chamber and it’s all about networking, so it’s a great opportunity for everybody to meet each other,” Jay explained. “Everybody working together makes Abilene a better community.”

The expo gave consumers the opportunity to learn more about what these local businesses can provide. Visitors of the expo picked up some free items from each booth and many were raffling off prizes, such as gift cards and discounts on their services.

After the booths closed, a live auction was held with more than 130 items and packages up for bidding, valued at a total of $47,000.

This year’s theme was ‘Wild About Abilene’ and many of the exhibitors participated by decorating their booths with animal print banners, balloon garlands and faux trees.