Business Expo exhibitors anticipate improvements, possible challenges as pandemic wanes

Pat J. Fraley

Rachel Wooden (center) looks to Brie Vine as they check out a vehicle with Maggie Brennan at Star Dodge booth at  Wednesday's Business Expo at the Abilene Convention Center.

Rachel Wooden (middle) seems to Brie Vine as they verify out a auto with Maggie Brennan at Star Dodge booth at Wednesday’s Small business Expo at the Abilene Convention Centre.

As 1000’s of people crowded into the Abilene Convention Middle on Wednesday to community and accumulate swag at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce’s yearly Enterprise Expo, symptoms of the pandemic primarily had been absent as opposed to the previous two decades.

COVID-19 safeguards twice delayed the party till August alternatively of its regular March opening.

Even so, a lot of of the almost 150 exhibitors nevertheless were being feeling the outcomes of the pandemic, with supply chain difficulties nevertheless a subject matter of discussion, even as substantially of daily life has returned to usual.

“It altered a lot of points,” mentioned Allison Alvarez, internet marketing director with Arrow Ford. “At the starting, we absolutely shut down the interior of the dealership and moved all of product sales outside the house. We had tents up, and all of our overall gross sales course of action we did in the parking whole lot.”

“Now, we are again inside of undertaking business enterprise pretty commonly. But as considerably as inventory, it has definitely adjusted the landscape of our enterprise. All distinctive manufacturers have dealt with supply chain difficulties and stock shortages.”

Addressing those people troubles led the business to undertake a a great deal larger aim on customized motor vehicle orders, Alvarez explained.

“Inventory and provide will hardly ever look the identical as it did prior to the pandemic, but that just assists us be leaner and a lot more successful, and with custom made orders we still can provide for our consumers specifically what they require,” she reported.

Jill Trout (center) speaks to a visitor to the Mooyha Burgers, Fries & Shakes booth.

Jill Trout (center) speaks to a customer to the Mooyha Burgers, Fries & Shakes booth.

Other people — these kinds of as Casye Fowler, co-proprietor of the Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes locale in Abilene — nevertheless are suffering from troubles, though with hope on the horizon. Immediately after opening in August — delayed more than a 12 months due to the pandemic — buyers had been all set, but the provide chain wasn’t, Fowler explained.

“We had been driving on a good deal of food stuff merchandise due to the fact of the shortage of staff members in those people corporations,” reported Fowler. “We are seeing an advancement in that. We’re viewing additional offer getting despatched to us sooner, we are viewing much less lack of foodstuff merchandise.”

“I assume it will just get even greater as we go on.”

On-line or office?

For some, even though, the stop of the pandemic threatens to disrupt what had been a boon to business enterprise.

“I imagine (the pandemic) aided us actually,” explained Veronica Fuentes, internet marketing coordinator for Vexus Fiber, which in February 2020 started delivering home online providers in sections of Abilene, just as demand started out increasing from countless numbers of homebound students and business office employees.

Clay Carabajal hold a three-banded armadillo named Emmy from the Abilene Zoo booth during Wednesday's Business Expo The zoo brought a selection of animals to the event, including a snake and baby owl. Native to Brazil, the top of Emmy's head can be seen nestled next to her tail. Hers is the only armadillo species that can roll into a complete ball.

Clay Carabajal hold a a few-banded armadillo named Emmy from the Abilene Zoo booth for the duration of Wednesday’s Small business Expo The zoo introduced a variety of animals to the function, including a snake and little one owl. Native to Brazil, the major of Emmy’s head can be observed nestled up coming to her tail. Hers is the only armadillo species that can roll into a entire ball.

“A large amount of men and women were being possessing to do the job from residence and essential the added bandwidth and online companies.”

Irrespective of places of work reopening and learners back again in course, Fuentes doesn’t expect to see fall in demand from customers.

“People still want a products that is quick and reputable that they are in a position to use at any time,” said Fuentes, who stated she expects operate-from-dwelling to keep on being popular in the foreseeable future.

“Since of the versatility that it supplies, you now comprehend you can do that.”

Nathaniel Ellsworth is a standard assignments reporter for the Abilene Reporter-Information. If you appreciate locally driven news, you can guidance neighborhood journalists with a digital membership to

This post initially appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: Enterprise Expo exhibitors anticipate enhancements as pandemic wanes

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