Some of their conversation cemtered around reviving the Golden Mile.
While participants in Tuesday's 17th Annual Business Expo were hoping to attract new customers and clients, many also offered their points of view on how to improve the Golden Mile. A number of them said any improvements to the area should include the Frederick Town Mall, which is mostly empty, having lost a lot of its tenants over the years. "That needs to be fixed," said Richard Torriam with Business Research Services in Frederick.
Angela Phillips with the New Life Christian Academy agrees. "Figuring out what's going to happen with the Mall itself will really determines what's going to revitalize this area," she says.
The Business Expo was held at the Frederick Town Mall from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 25th. The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the event, said 170 exhibitors were expected to show up, along with 1,000 attendees.
While a lot of attention is directed at the Mall, other business representatives said revitalization needs to go beyond that. "I think some development out here, an outdoor mall with some anchor stores to freshen it up," said Brandon McGee with the Frederick Keys.
"It feels like a lot of these businesses need some upgrades," said Colleen Gillin with Stauffer Funeral Homes. "They need bring their appearance and maybe their brand into the 20-12 era."
Janet Novak with Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which puts on the Frederick Running Festival, said there should be an emphasis on small businesses. "If there's a way maybe to cut costs for real estate, get some small businesses up and down, local artisans, what not, maybe that's a way to revitalize," she said. "I think Frederick is very much a 'community community' and I think it would support some of the small business."
In its literature about the Business Expo, the Chamber of Commerce said it has 1,068 members as of September 14th, 2012. It also says 83.5% of its members as small businesses with fewer than 20 full time employees.