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Businesses Big and Small Attend Long Beach Expo

Cambodian traditional dancers give blessing during an annual parade in the designated 'Cambodia Town' section of Long Beach, California, on April 2, 2011, to celebrate Khmer New Year.

The expo was sponsored by the Cambodian American Business Association.

LONG BEACH - The third annual Cambodian business expo was held in Long Beach, Calif., last week, drawing businesses big and small to the city’s Cambodia Town.

Steve Meng, who owns an online Khmer T-shirt company, says the expo would help him get exposure for his products. So he sold his shirts for $5, compared to their typical online cost of $20.

“For a big company, they came out for more clients,” he said.

Small business owner Sam Touch, who sells shoes, Khmer literature books, make-up and hats during Khmer New Year, said that he took this opportunity to come out and try to make a little more money this year. And to “try to advertise for Khmer,” he said.

The expo was sponsored by the Cambodian American Business Association. The association’s senior vice president, Roeun Malinni, said a lot of businesses in Long Beach were “mom and pop” shops that don’t have a lot of resources.

The expo was meant to help them network with each other and have access to their local city councilman. “When there’s a problem, they don’t know where to go,” she said.

The expo “would give them the opportunity to meet wholesalers, their business neighbors, their councilman and expose their products to bystanders who come to the event,” she said.

This year’s expo had about 20 booths, less than the year before due to some cancelations, but organizers said that hadn’t discouraged people from coming.