Once again Alvinites young and old arrived at the Knights of Columbus Hall for the Alvin-Manvel Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Expo and Taste of the Town. This year saw many new businesses take part, including Alvin Care Pharmacy and AOF Engineering Systems along with established regulars such as Whataburger and Alvin Skate-n-Party. Numerous restaurants provided food for those in attendance, including mainstays Corey’s Kitchen, Martinez Mexican Restaurant, Tommaso’s Italian Grill, Luna’s Mexican Restaurant and Whataburger.

This year’s theme featured board games, with multiple businesses basing their booth’s theme on The Game of Life, REMAX American Dream’s employees donning costumes to portray the characters of Clue and Alvin Parks and Recreation’s Rene Valadez creating his own virtual board game in which players could win prizes featuring the department’s logo T-Recs.

Scott Salter, chairman of the Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce and owner of Alvin Skate-n-Party and The Frozen Spoon, said he made games the theme for this year’s events as a contrast to the seriousness often associated with business.

“Life is a game and business is a game and sometimes you got to roll the dice. Everybody’s got to take a risk when it comes to business and everybody is rolling the dice but, you know, it’s one of those things where people — people are real serious in the business world and obviously I come from an industry where it’s a lot of fun, so it’s fun to add that little bit of fun element into it,” Salter said.

Salter said the expo is important in giving small business owners the opportunity to meet many potential customers in a concentrated area when it is difficult to leave the office and network at other times.

Emily Taft of Fairway Chiropractic said there is value in being able to interact with potential customers in person.

“On the Internet you don’t really know who you’re talking to or if they’re real or how it really is, you know. So it was a good way to talk to people eye to eye,” Taft said.

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