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Small Business Owners hope for good turnout

Small Business, Hot Shot Sisters, sets up a booth at the IABA Home Show and A Woman’s Affair
Small Business, Hot Shot Sisters, sets up a booth at the IABA Home Show and A Woman’s Affair(Sarah Hollister)
Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 5:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With more than 100 vendors spread throughout the Fairgrounds, the Interior Alaska Building Association (IABA) Home Show and A Woman’s Affair had quite the turnout.

Each booth was spaced 10 feet apart and there was room for community members to social distance.

For many local businesses, this event is a lifeline.

Kayla Hegna, who had three booths -- Arctic Chaga, AK Dips and Photo Buttons -- said her business relies on people showing up.

“It’s actually our first event this year, so it’s definitely meaningful for us to finally get out and be out in the public and around people and sharing with people our amazing products.” Hegna said.

Krystal Wester, the owner of “Hot Shot Sisters,” a local juice bar, said meeting people in the community is key to getting the word out about her business.

“Being a new juice bar here locally, being under a year old, we have two locations. With not a lot of people out and about shopping, not a lot of tourists, not a lot of people staying in the hotels around our juice bar, we just don’t have a lot of the presence and the ability to market and reach people like we had originally planned,” Wester explained

Collin Ellis, the owner of “Premier Carpet Cleaners” says he’s happy to have the opportunity to showcase his company at the home show because this year has been full of changes.

“When everything happened in late February, early March, obviously we did see a drop quite a bit in number of jobs,” Ellis said. “We had a lot of people who were not moving, so we didn’t have move outs, we didn’t have military move outs. We were still able to do a few jobs here and there. A lot of businesses were closed so we were able to do some of the businesses so that was good.”

The owners of “Skippy Sweets” and “Mamma Please Ice Cream” both say they’ve had to adjustments their business model this year.

“This has helped us to get our social media presence out there. We are not able to do one-on-one contact but we can still do different types of orders and things like that.” Lafi Skips, the owner of “Skippy Sweets” explained.

“This year it’s been a little different, we have had to drive along neighborhoods, which is a lot of fun because it’s exciting and everyone is getting to know our trucks. So I think we will continue to do that when everything goes back to normal,” Michelle Davis, the owner of “Mamma Please Ice Cream” said.

Even though tomorrow is uncertain for many businesses that require face to face meetups, all the businesses we talked to are hopeful for the future.

“We try to be a part of the community also. I was born and raised here, my boys were born here, so we aren’t going anywhere soon. Premier Carpet Cleaners is here to stick around and be a part of the community,” Ellis said.

“We hope you do choose to come out and check out all the booths this weekend for the people who did take the time to put their products together and show up, we hope you guys show up,” Wester added.

The IABA Home Show and A Woman’s Affair takes place this Saturday and Sunday at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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