LEWISTON — As of Monday, 125 businesses, most of them local, had signed up to take part in the rebranded LA Metro Marketplace business networking trade show.

It will be held Thursday inside the atrium at Bates Mill No. 1, over three floors.

The Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council had held the popular Maine B2B networking event for 22 years before becoming an organization within the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has organized the event for the first time this year, changing the venue and changing up the format. Business vendors have been organized around seven themed pavilions: Ideas, Prosperity, Discover LA Maine, Makers, Wellbeing, Possibility and the Marketplace.

“The pavilions are full and a very good blend,” chamber President Beckie Conrad said.

In the morning, students from Lewiston and Edward Little high schools are scheduled to attend and, she hopes, get a sense of the work being done and opportunities that exist here.

From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the event is open specifically to job-seekers with most vendors participating.

From 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., it’s open to the public and entry is free with a business card.

“I think people should come for multiple reasons,” Conrad said. “If you’re networking for your own business, you can come and be meeting potential employment places. You can be doing business, buying things, making deals.

“I am encouraging people to have it be a deal-making day,” she said. “Come in to our community and do business with us, share your business expertise. As Portland Pie has just said, this is a great place to get into. Ask good questions, talk to folks, see what it’s like to do business here.”

There are two entrances to the atrium, through doors between Museum L-A and E. Claire and Pastries on Canal Street and, for the lower level, beside DaVinci’s Eatery. The chamber has also posted a map online for the best parking spots and how many steps it’ll take from each location.

Also on Thursday, the chamber plans to unveil a two-year “Make It Here” community image campaign in partnership with WGME.

An after-hours event, post-trade show, will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is also open to the public.

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