Franchise Business Expo coming to Tri-Cities

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

JOHNSON CITY — Have you ever thought about owning your own business? A group of Tri-Cities organizations are offering a one-day event for those wanting the freedom and control of owning their own businesses. A large number of franchise companies looking to expand into the Tri-Cities and the surrounding areas, as well as business experts who can assist in buying and growing a business, will be in the Tri-Cities for one day.

The Tri-Cities Franchise Business EXPO 2016 will be held at The Millennium Centre, 2001 Millennium Place, Johnson City, on Tuesday, April 19, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

“Carter County Tomorrow felt it was important to sponsor this because it not only benefits the Tri-Cities economy as a whole, but it has the potential to help someone who is unsure of starting a small business or about how the financing component works,” said Elizabethton Director of Planning and Economic Development Jon Hartman. “It provide them an opportunity to start a small business with a model and helps us to bring more retail into our area.”

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While the majority of the EXPO is available for you to wander and visit as you like, select events will be taking place at specific times. A free buffet lunch for attendees will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Workshops and panel discussions on “Franchise Funding Options,” “Finding the Right Franchise Fit,” and “What It Takes to be an Entrepreneur” will also be held at specific times. The schedule and more information can be found online at

Jerry Bird, who heads FranNet of Alabama & East Tennessee, helps individuals determine potential franchise opportunities and is responsible for helping coordinate the event and bringing the franchise companies to the Tri-Cities.

“We want it to be fun and educational,” said Bird. “There are over 3,200 franchises out there in more than 90 industries. What is a great match for one person might be the worst choice for another.

“This event will allow those people who have always had a desire to own their own business but fear the unknown. It will provide the opportunity to take a look at several franchises at one time while also having access to funding options and the ability to meet with many organizations that can help you on the way to business ownership all in one place,” concluded Bird.

Featured franchises include leaders in the categories of Low Cost, Senior Care, Boutique Retail, Automobile Care/Repair, Event Planning/Organizing, Business Coaching/Training, Staffing B2B, Digital Imaging/Signage & Graphics, Home Improvement/Repair, Fast Casual Food/Frozen Desserts, Business to Business Services, and more.

Sponsoring organizations for this event include the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers (TSBDC), FranNet of Alabama & East Tennessee, City of Johnson City, City of Kingsport, TN, KOSBE, City of Bristol (TN), Mitch Cox Realtor Inc., Carter County Tomorrow, Washington County Economic Development Council, and Bank of Tennessee. There is no cost to attend the event for those who pre-register. Admission will be $10 at the door. Details on the raffle and door prizes can be found at the registration table at the event. For additional information, email Jerry Bird at To pre-register for this exciting event, visit