With the Buy Local Expo falling short of expectations, the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce will revive its once-popular Taste of Jackson in 2013 — relocated from Commerce to Jefferson.
“I think Jackson County knows Taste of Jackson — that’s a branded event that we’ve done for 18 years,” said Linda Foster, vice president of member services at the chamber of commerce.
The Taste of Jackson was scrapped by the chamber in early 2011 in favor of two other projects — a wings cook-off at YearOne in Braselton and the Jackson Derby. At that time, the Taste of Jackson had been a top revenue producer for the chamber, although income had slipped in recent years.
It was eventually replaced by the Buy Local Expo, which was held on Aug. 30, at the Jefferson Civic Center. The event welcomed an estimated 450 people, including exhibitors.
Sponsorship and attendance for the Buy Local Expo was below what chamber officials had expected, according to Foster.
“I think the 12 (noon) to 4 (p.m.) thing hurt us a little bit,” she said of this year’s event, which included an after-hours event until 7 p.m. “That’s a long day for the vendors.”
For 2013, the chamber will hold a combined Taste of Jackson and Buy Local Expo on Oct. 3, at the Jefferson Civic Center. It will be held from 5-8 p.m.
This year’s expo didn’t raise the cash that chamber officials had anticipated, either.
The Buy Local Expo was projected to raise $22,000, but brought in $16,800, Foster explained. The chamber’s expenses for the event totaled $6,500 — leaving the organization about $3,000 shy of its fundraising goal, she added.