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Learn to help the local economy at Business Expo

Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.

Cinda Baxter, founder of The 3/50 Project and Always Upward, inspires small business owners to rise above the challenges of failing economics while empowering consumers to create positive change by driving revenue back toward locally owned, independent, brick-and-mortar businesses.

Baxter will be one of the guest speakers at the second Business to Business Expo that the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce will be hosting on Wednesday, June 6. In founding The 3/50 Project, Cinda turned a simple concept into a viral campaign that netted more than 7,600 “absolute unique visitors” on its website and several times that many supporters nationwide — in the first week. Hailed nationally as an unprecedented success for Buy Local awareness, Baxter and The 3/50 Project have been featured in both trade and mass media, including The Washington Post, Consumer Reports, Entrepreneur, NYTimes Online and The Chicago Tribune. According to Fox Business News, The 3/50 Project “just might have the formula that could save some local businesses that might not otherwise survive.” In addition to The 3/50 Project, Baxter has launched three successful online communities to support storefront retailers in the gift, stationery and home accessory industries.

Baxter will be the closing speaker for the Business to Business Expo, speaking at approximately 4 p.m. Other speakers include Marc Willson, retail and restaurant consultant for the Virginia SBDC and Zac Barron, regional development director for Constant Contact. This year’s expo will also include numerous vendors from economic organizations such as Region 9, the Southwest Colorado SBDC, and the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation — the Business Expo’s title sponsor. Banking entities such as Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans and 1st Southwest Bank are also sponsors of this informative event.

This Expo is a perfect opportunity to see what some of the new businesses are in Pagosa and how they might interact with your business. Meet new entrepreneurs, find out what some of the services of existing businesses are, and take advantage of some of the show specials. The Expo will start off with lunch and guest speaker Willson. There will then be plenty of time to visit the booths and network. Barron will then give you some simple, yet important, information on direct e-mail marketing and social marketing tips and trends. There will be another break to visit the booths, then Baxter will close the day. Following Baxter, there will be a reception, prize drawings and one final time to visit the booths. Registration is available online at www.pagosaspringschamber.com for both vendor space and attendee tickets.

This is a very important Expo for our community and businesses should plan to attend all or part of the event. With the changes in our community and the current business climate, it is critical that we invest in our businesses through education and involvement. All businesses should be seeking ways to improve themselves and their market share. Residents should attend the conference to see how we can better support our small retail merchants through creative and simple ideas and see what business we have in our community. Vendor booth space is only $50 and attendee tickets are $25. This price includes lunch, the reception and cash bar, and all the speakers. Can you afford to not attend?

Questions on the event should be directed to Mary Jo Coulehan. Don’t be someone who, the day after the event, wishes you would have gone to the Business to Business Expo!

Individual consultations

Included with the Expo, Willson will be staying in Pagosa one extra day to work one-on-one with individual businesses. Willson’s specialty is working with small retail businesses threatened by Big Box infiltration. He will conduct a 90-minute confidential consultation to help you identify need areas, missed opportunities, or to just speak with you on the potential impact. Only five time slots will be available. To sign up for a space, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 264-2360. The cost for a consultation is only $50 since it is presented in conjunction with the Business to Business Expo. Use this opportunity to improve your business and be the best you can be.

Last call for photos

The Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce is getting ready produce the 2013 Pagosa Springs calendar. We know that there are even more stunning photos of Pagosa Springs out there. This is an opportunity to share your love of Pagosa and the reasons that we live here through photos of community activities, scenery and lifestyle. All photos will be given photographer credit and a description of the location, if relevant. We will be selecting a cover photo and one photo for each month.

We are also seeking major events to place on the calendar to help people plan for next year and perhaps entice them back with events for a fun-filled vacation. The calendar will be ready by the Fourth of July weekend. Please submit photos and event dates to Stacy Kirby, events coordinator, at events@pagosachamber.com.

If you are interested in sponsoring a particular month so that you can highlight your business, inquiries can also be directed to Kirby, as spaces for sponsorship are also limited. Jewelry stores may want to sponsor Valentine’s Day or Christmas, auto parts stores may want to sponsor May for the Car Show, sporting goods stores may want to sponsor fall for hunting or winter for skiing and snowmobiling. Let us help you strategically place your logo and information.

Events

Several events will be occurring in the next couple of weeks. Don’t miss the Full Moon Program at Chimney Rock on Sunday June 3. Chimney Rock will also be hosting the Transit of Venus and the New Chimney Rock Moon Viewing Program on Tuesday, June 5. Tickets are required for both of these activities and can be purchased by calling (970) 883-5359 or at www.chimneyrockco.org.

The play “Doubt: A Parable” continues at the Pagosa Center for the Arts until June 3. There are Friday and Saturday evening performances and a Sunday matinee. Tickets may be purchased online at www.pagosacenter.org.

The Pagosa Springs Community Choir celebrates spring with their “Journey of Life” concert June 1-3. The concert will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School with concerts on June 1 and 2, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, June 3, at 4 p.m. The concert is free and donations are accepted and appreciated.

“At Your Service” is the theme for the Fifth Annual Ladies Night Out Event hosted by the Archuleta County Victim Assistance Program. The event will be held on Thursday, June 7, at the Pagosa Center for the Arts beginning at 5:30 p.m. There will be great food and drink and lots of services to bid on at the auction. Tickets are $25 for an evening of fun and are available at the Chamber of Commerce.

Get your tickets for the Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival coming up on June 8-10. All performances will be held up on Reservoir Hill, including Friday night. There will be musical workshops, late night jamming sessions, the late night stage and, of course, all the main stage music. Tickets are available at www.folkwest.com.

Membership news

We have another business to congratulate on 15 years of business in Pagosa. Kudos and celebration wishes to Lvonne Wilson and Home Again, located in the historic downtown district. We have watched Home Again expand and change locations, modify merchandise and have her products spiff up our homes and persons! Congratulations, Home Again; we look forward to many more years of giving gifts from your store to ourselves and our friends!

Our new business this week is located on the west side of town next to Upscale Resale, where the Floured Apron was located. Two Chicks and a Hippie (Lou Jean, Betsy and Rory) now occupy this space with an open floor plan, delicious baked goods and breakfast and lunch items. The bakery specializes in dietary needs including gluten-free items and organic products.

Our only renewal this week is our counterpart in Durango — the Durango Area Chamber of Commerce. We share a great relationship with this office as we all focus on helping our business communities.

There are lots of activities planned for the summer. Stay in touch by becoming “friends” with the Chamber through Facebook and receive reminders and information about important activities happening in our community.

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