Wed, Feb. 26

Chambers join forces for Home & Business Expo

This year marks the first time that the chambers of commerce from Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona will team up to produce a regional home and business show aimed at the entire family.

The 2005 Verde Valley Home and Business Expo will take place April 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood. The event is free to attend and will feature about 100 businesses from throughout the Verde Valley and entire state of Arizona.

The expo will also have food demonstrations, an antique car show and plenty of entertainment. Expo co-chair Leonard Miller, of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, said magicians, dancers and bands have already been lined up for the day.

Besides being a pleasant way to spend a Saturday afternoon, the expo will also give the public a chance to learn about and experience many different local businesses.

The hope is that the businesses will attract a different group of customers and that they'll be able to network with each other.

"This is one of those events where we're helping [chamber] members to get exposure," Miller said.

In the past, communities have held their own individual home and business shows. This year, in an attempt to be more efficient and to produce a larger show, the chambers decided to pool their resources.

Terry Morales is the director of membership at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. She is co-chairing the expo with Miller and explains this year's event will be different from the shows in the past.

"They can expect a lot of really good energy at the show," Morales said. "We're gearing it more toward a family event."

Besides the many business booths set up throughout the fairgrounds, there will also be a tethered hot air balloon, food vendors and a raffle with some high-end prizes.

The large array of businesses with booths at the event will also be a draw for attendees, Morales said.

"They'll talk and present their services," Morales said of the businesses. "Some will have actual demonstrations."

She and Miller are expecting that at least 1,200 visitors will come to the event. The business owners that have reserved space at the event hope the increased traffic will bring new customers.

Sherry Johnson owns Flowers Unlimited and plans to have a booth at the show. She hopes to tell people what her business can do for them.

"I mainly just want to get across to all the new people in town all the services that we offer," Johnson said.

Other businesses expected to make a presence at the expo include real estate companies, car dealerships, banks, various home care companies and more.

Terel Zitko owns Landmark Furniture in Cottonwood and will be at this year's expo. He's had a booth the Sedona Home and Business Expo in the past and says shows like these are valuable for the business owner.

"When we're there personally, we can describe and show visually …that we're a full service furniture store," Zitko said.

This year Zitko will focus on the unique furniture his store carries. He's planning on bringing furniture to the expo to sell on site.

Besides being good for business, Miller says the expo is much more. It's an important regional event designed to entertain.

"This is an opportunity to provide a community event … where people can gather," Miller said.

The Verde Valley Home and Business Expo starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday April 24 at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood and continues until 4 p.m. If you would like more information on reserving a space, call 204-1123.

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