Plans Set For Upcoming Business Showcase

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By Darrell Mak

The ninth annual Home-Based and Small Business Showcase is coming to Marley Station Mall on Saturday, May 7. The event will bring dozens of local vendors together for product demonstrations, free giveaways, and entertainment. The event is being coordinated by The Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, an organization devoted to promoting small businesses in the area.

The event will take place in the mall’s Center Court between 10:00am and 4:00pm and is free and open to the public. A couple dozen businesses will line the perimeter of the mall’s center court showcasing samples of their products and services. The free event is designed to highlight the many home-based and small-business opportunities in the area.

“We’re excited about how well this show is coming together,” says Linda Zahn, CEO of The Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber invites residents to stop by and learn more about what the business community has to offer. “Supporting local businesses is key to a vibrant community. It's great to live with wonderful restaurants, shopping and services within minutes of your front door.”

The showcase will highlight not only a variety of small businesses that serve the area, but also businesses and organizations that provide services to both business and the community. “It will feature a diverse group of both big and small businesses,” said Paulette Morris, who is chair of the showcase’s planning committee and is the owner of Idea/Weaver Promotions.

Many of the vendors will have games or other fun activities. New for this year will be "Health/Wellness/Beauty" and "Home Show" sections to make browsing and shopping easier than ever. In addition, a variety of door prizes will be given out throughout the day.

There will also be a line-up of entertainment during the event starting at 11:00am, to include a performance by the Severna Park Elementary School chorus, followed by a Maryland State Martial Arts demonstration, a Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu and Tai Chi demonstration, and a Jing Ying Institute's Women's Self-Defense demonstration.

A few years ago, the format of the showcase shifted from having small-business related seminars to more entertainment. “We wanted to make the event more of a family atmosphere with fun,” said Morris. In earlier years, the showcase event was held at an Office Depot store with just a couple of tables, but it was moved to Marley Station Mall in 2007 to take advantage of greater exposure.

Visitors to the event will get a free visitor bag to carry the many items being given away by the showcase vendors. Sponsors helping support this year’s showcase include Celebree Learning Center, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Idea Weaver Promotions, Jing Ying Institute, Maryland State Martial Arts, Storage Village Self Storage, and Costco Wholesale.

“The Saturday before Mother’s Day has proven to be a good one for us at Marley Station Mall, and Center Court is a great venue,” said Zahn. “Stop by and learn more about what the business community has to offer.”

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