Hazel Park, Madison HeightsFebruary 12, 2014
Learn about local businesses at Biz Expo
By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer
MADISON HEIGHTS/HAZEL PARK — Best Pets is a specialty pet shop dealing in reptiles, amphibians, birds and small animals — just about everything but cats and dogs. They’ve been on Dequindre, just north of E. 12 Mile, for around 25 years now.
And yet, many in Madison Heights continue to overlook them.
“We still have people coming in, saying they live around the corner but they didn’t even know we’re here,” said Nathan Hanks, owner of Best Pets.
His business isn’t the only one facing visibility issues. That’s why the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce is holding its Biz Expo on Saturday, Feb. 22.
The event takes place from noon-4 p.m. at Hazel Park Raceway, 1650 E. 10 Mile, and aims to shine a light on the local businesses that form the area’s economic backbone.
“I was surprised at the level of interest and participation, and how many businesses want to get in on this,” said Keri Valmassei, the chamber’s executive director. “It’s been a while since the chamber has done something like this.”
At press time, nearly 50 businesses had already signed up to exhibit at the Biz Expo. There are still spots available at the venue, on the fourth floor of the raceway clubhouse. Businesses can rent tables for $25 to showcase their wares.
Best Pets will be among them, bringing some pocket critters along to amuse the kids. Families will find plenty to keep the young ones entertained, including free face painting, a chance to meet Leader Dogs for the Blind and photo opportunities with Spongebob.
The businesses will be giving away free samples of food, free swag and coupons, and even free massages in the case of Madison Heights Chiropractic. A number of civic groups will also be on site, sharing information about their various programs. Free raffles will round out the festivities, along with live music performances.
A business doesn’t have to be from Madison Heights or Hazel Park, or even a member of the chamber in order to participate. Likewise, visitors don’t have to be from either city. All are welcome to come learn about the area’s diverse business portfolio.
“It’s all about bringing the business world and the residential world together, and hopefully giving everyone a boost at the same time,” Valmassei said. “The businesses can increase their audience, and everyone else can walk away with some free stuff.”
Hanks said he’s looking forward to the Biz Expo.
“I think it’s a great idea for local small businesses,” Hanks said. “I think people will show up and it will go well — and then we’ll be back next year.”
The Biz Expo, presented by the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, will take place at Hazel Park Raceway, 1650 E. 10 Mile, from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. The event is free. Businesses interested in participating can call the chamber at (248) 542-5010 or email the chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Pets is located at 29085 Dequindre and can be reached at (248) 547-2300.