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-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Chris Deal, a small business owner from Jefferson, gives a keynote speach at the IGNITE Entrepreneurial Expo hosted by Main Street Fort Dodge and the Fort Dodge Small Business Task Force at the Iowa Central campus on Wednesday.

Budding area entrepreneurs learned about local, regional and statewide resources for small businesses at the IGNITE Entrepreneurial Expo on Wednesday at the Bioscience and Health Sciences Building on the Iowa Central Community College campus.

Main Street Fort Dodge Executive Director Kris Patrick said the goal of the expo was to get local entrepreneurs “fired up” about opportunities in the Fort Dodge region.

“We are hoping that the attendees would be engaged and really find a way to step into the entrepreneurial network that we’re trying to create and we saw that happen time and time again tonight,” she said.

The event was co-hosted by Main Street Fort Dodge and the Fort Dodge Small Business Task Force and featured an array of informational booths, panels and keynote speakers.

Chris Deal, a small business owner from Jefferson, was one of the keynote speakers of the event.

“There’s something special about small businesses,” Deal said. “We should devote more time and attention on growing the next generation of homegrown businesses rather than trying to attract a branch or warehouse.”

He talked about the importance, as a small business owner, to find motivation; be persistent and get creative; grab opportunities when they arise; and leverage partnerships.

The next event in the IGNITE Entrepreneurs Series will be the Smart Start class on May 23 at the IowaWorks office on the Iowa Central campus. The interactive class will be an educational opportunity for businesses just getting started or those just thinking about owning their own business. The class is open to just 25 people and registration is required. Registration can be found on the mainstreetfd.org website.

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