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Chamber business fair widens marketing horizons

POULSBO — Local business owners will be workin’ for the weekend over the next several days, as they prepare for the Greater Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce’s Second Annual Business Fair Sept. 29.

With the theme, “Experience North Kitsap,” chamber representatives are welcoming interested businesses to take advantage of an opportunity to gain exposure and network with other area merchants.

The chamber has added guest speakers to its roster, and Komar Insurance will provide free hot dogs to the public.

“We’re trying to get people to do business in their own backyard,” said chamber president and North Kitsap Herald publisher Donna Etchey. “I want to invite all businesses, not just chamber businesses, to contact the chamber and reserve their spot.”

Chamber executive director Stuart Leidner said he hopes the event sees a great turnout from local consumers, as it provides an easy way to learn what services the area offers.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come down to see some new businesses they may not normally run across,” he said. “There’s quite a wide range of businesses, both new and existing.”

Leidner said the number of home-based operations in the area is rising, and for business owners who don’t have the luxury of a storefront, the fair offers a chance at becoming visible to future clients.

“What better way to give them the opportunity to market their services?” he asked. “We’re trying to bring additional clients to them in one large showcase.”

The day’s events include presentations on fall gardening by Valley Nursery, cooking by local ingredients by MorMor Bistro owner John Nesby, sustainable building by architect Larry Craig and home design, by LaMont Design’s Connie LaMont.

“We hope that the community will take advantage of those presentations,” Leidner said.

Send Out Cards distributor Barbara Hartley who participated at the 2006 fair to showcase her graphic design skills and will return this year, said the fair opened her up to a network of contacts she previously didn’t know existed.

“It just started a landslide for me of networking,” she said. “I met people last year who have opened doors for me all over Kitsap County. I didn’t know anyone, now I know hundreds of people, and it really started there.”

Leidner said for the public, the fair offers a chance to support the local economy.

“It’s finding them here in North Kitsap,” he said. “Take a look locally before you go elsewhere.”

The fair also offers a good time and a nice weekend event for those who take advantage.

“Learn more about some of the businesses in community, hear some good speakers and certainly get a good hot dog out of the day,” he said.

The chamber has a varied range of businesses signed up, but is seeking additional participants. Space is limited. For more information, call the chamber at (360) 779-4848.

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