This year, Wood is aiding in bringing the Dogwood Business Hop to town.

Placing an emphasis on community economic growth is always on the minds of local business owners. This is no different for Bill Wood, owner of Bill’s Art Center and Gallery. This year, alongside the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce, the Community Art League and other volunteers, Wood is aiding in bringing the Dogwood Business Hop to town. 

Similar to the Christmas Business Hop, this event hopes to encourage local shopping with prize incentives tied to the end goal. From April 22 - May 10, community members will be able to pick up a ticket from Bill’s Art Center, Fleeces to Pieces and the Camdenton Chamber. Next, this ticket needs to be taken to local business with a dogwood flower painting on the front door and receive a signature from the owner inside. 

The grand prize for collecting the most signatures will be a $100 shopping certificate, valid at a number of local stores selected by the Chamber. Second place will receive $75 and four other $25 certificates will be handed out to the remaining winners.  The money awarded via the certificates will be refunded to businesses through the Chamber. Businesses included in the Hop were required to submit a $20 fee for inclusion. 

Wood says the decision to switch from last year’s Art Trail to the Business Hop came down to a matter of time for preparation. He says he and the Community Art League plan to continue with the Art Trail in the future. He says the goal of all organizers for this event was to get people into local shops and promote local commerce. He hopes that by putting people into these location that it might encourage buying local and creating a connection for future purchases. 

Another goal that Wood put out was to connect businesses with the local art scene. Much of the footwork for the event, including reaching out to businesses to participate and painting the dogwood flowers, was done by local artists. Wood says that he wants to connect the two areas of the town in order to promote growth in both sectors. 

“This is a community event that is there to promote art and to promote our local businesses in town,” Wood said. “We want to encourage people that read the newspaper, listen to the radio, whatever to help build our community into a place our grandkids can grow up in and be successful in.”

Sandy Gentry, Administrative Assistant at the Camdenton Chamber of Commerce, says that the Chamber members were excited to help promote this event and see their goals much in the same light as Wood. She says that they want to create healthy community engagement throughout the span of the contest that will go on to last.