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Small Business Week events planned

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Latest

Community members inside and outside the city limits of Wylie will gather the week of May 1-7 to celebrate the small businesses in town and participate in special events.

Kicking off the week is the annual Taste of Wylie event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 1, at Olde City Park, which is located at 112 S. Ballard Ave. At the event, local restaurants will gather to showcase their fare while raising money for a good cause.

In its second year primarily organized by the city, the event has been able to upgrade the experience of attendees by mitigating long lines and making improvements to the ticketing system using know-how from organizing other large events, said Public Information Officer Craig Kelly. Last year the event also raised $24,000 that was distributed among local food pantries, such as Wylie Christian Care Center, Amazing Grace, Hope for the Cities and 5 Loaves Food Pantry in Sachse.

At first, having such a large event with restaurants on a Monday seems strange, said Wylie Economic Development Corporation Director of Business Retention and Expansion Angel Wygant, but it was done because many downtown restaurants were closed.

The event has also grown alongside local nonprofits, such as Wylie Christian Care, the former main organizer. Wygant said the transformation has created an interesting juxtaposition with the nonprofit’s expansion.

“That was at a time when the Christian Care Center was small and growing and just trying to increase their ability to serve the community, so they needed the fundraiser,” Wygant said. “Over the years as Wylie has grown, Wylie has more restaurants and more businesses so the event grew to be much larger than was ever envisioned.”

Kelly said that despite the growth, the event has been volunteer-led. The event has also incorporated other food pantries as recipients of proceeds since they share a mission.

“We include the additional food pantries because they all work together to connect people for different resources and needs,” Kelly said.

Because of the growth, the WEDC has wrapped Taste of Wylie into its Small Business Week.

“We wanted to pull it into Small Business Week because all those restaurants are small businesses in our community,” Wygant said. “The response was overwhelming and it became a huge event.”

Kelly said one unique aspect to the event is that around half of the attendees come from Wylie while the other half visit from surrounding areas.

For Taste of Wylie tickets are available on the city’s website at wylietexas.gov/living/events/taste_of_wylie.php. The cost to attend is $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12, educators and seniors over 60. Children 5 years old and younger can attend for free.

Kelly and Wygant said over 35 businesses will be featured at the signature event May 1. Wygant added that it is a great platform for businesses, especially the 33% that may be newly opened or operating out of a house.

Additionally, the week will help promote some of the resources and local organizations that assist small businesses in Wylie, said Wygant. There will also be an “I Shop Wylie” campaign that helps businesses and customers engage with them. There will also be a t-shirt prize associated with the campaign, said Wygant, that is emblazoned with the logo.

For the full story, see the April 26 issue of The Wylie News.

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