The Small Business Opportunity Expo will take place at the Gaillard Center March 31 | Photo by Andy Brack

The City of Charleston hosts its free annual Small Business Opportunity Expo March 31 at the Gaillard Center. With more than 40 onsite organizations and municipal partners, the event presents Lowcountry small business owners with learning, networking and contract opportunities. 

The expo begins at 9 a.m. with Early Bird Workshops ahead of the opening of Exhibitor Hall at 10 a.m. Various workshops and programming on marketing, access to capital, legal basics and more will run throughout the day with an evening reception at 5 p.m.  

“Too often you hear of exceptional small businesses who, without access to the proper resources, are sadly forced to close their doors,” said Ruth Jordan, minority business enterprise manager for the City of Charleston. “We are excited to aid owners in establishing routes to success by directly connecting them to those key partnerships, resources and knowledge all in one convenient location.”

This year’s exhibitors include the S.C. State Ports Authority, Charleston International Airport, Charleston Housing Authority, S.C. Commission for Minority Affairs, local financial institutions, Charleston and Berkeley counties and other organizations. 

Breakout sessions covering more specific topics will also dot the expo, such as “Chats to Contracts,” which covers the basics of identifying contracting opportunities and how to properly navigate them. Other breakouts like “Small Business: Legal Basics” and “Minding Your Business: Legal Basics for Latinx Businesses” cover registering a new business, obtaining necessary permits and licenses and understanding tax obligations. 

Registration is now open online and is required for participation. 

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