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Hometown Expo set for the weekend
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Local businesses showcase their products and services at the expo. - photo by Photo provided.

CORRECTION: The Richmond Hill City Center will not be serving lunch during the 2013 Hometown Expo as was originally reported.

The Women’s Business Alliance of Richmond Hill is encouraging residents to shop locally with its annual Hometown Expo Friday and Saturday at the Richmond Hill City Center.
“So many people in Richmond Hill aren’t aware of how many great businesses we have,” said Women’s Business Alliance founder and event chairperson Michelle Englehart. “The whole purpose of the Hometown Expo is to give local businesses an opportunity to show, tell and sell their business to those closest to home.”
More than 50 area vendors will set up booths to showcase their wares and services. Many will offer product samples, drawings and others incentives to attract potential customers.
“We have a great variety this year,” said Englehart. “Everything from a landscaping company to clothing stores, jewelry and nonprofits and everything in between.
“From a business standpoint, it’s great because there’s a captive audience of people who are looking to learn more about the businesses in their community,” she said. “From the community standpoint, they get to meet with the owners and employees and ask any questions they might have.”
Jennifer McIrvin, president of the Women’s Business Alliance and owner of Personal Touch Collision in Richmond Hill, said she met several new customers at last year’s expo.
“We brought in new business because people were able to come in, ask whatever questions they had been mulling over and meet with me and some of my men. They were able to get a feel for my business and develop relationships with the people who would be working for them.”  
Friday’s events are business-to-business only, but Saturday is free and open to the public. Doors will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to individual vendor incentives, the Women’s Business Alliance will raffle a gift basket containing gift certificates and merchandise from participating businesses. The estimated value of the basket is more than $500.
The Hometown Expo is the primary fundraiser for the Women’s Business Alliance.
Englehart said last year’s expo raised around $2,000 and drew a crowd of more than 600. She’s hoping the 2013 expo will exceed last year’s success and be “the best Hometown Expo yet.”
Proceeds finance the club’s expenses, and any additional profits will be donated to Girls on the Run, a nonprofit program intended to build confidence and promote a healthy lifestyle in adolescent girls.
For more information about the expo, call Michelle Englehart at 844-7449.

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