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Businesses work together to help each other succeed at Polo craft fair

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POLO (WREX) — Normally craft shows charge some sort of entry fee for vendors to come and sell, but Dogwood Inn & Restaurant Owner Bernice Ratledge thinks a different way when it comes to hosting.

"I charge no fee or commission," Ratledge said. "They're helping me and I'm helping them."

Waiving the fee comes as a huge break for crafters who were hit hard by COVID-19. With most indoor gatherings cancelled for the fall and winter months, Color Street Stylist Maya Petersen says it was tough to get any business going.

"It's been really hard to find locations to set up, and that are safe and welcoming for customers to shop," Petersen said. "Things like this are really important for our businesses."

Ratledge says she plans to continue the indoor crafting show each Saturday until COVID-19 restrictions allow her to reopen her buffet.

However, she says the inn already hosted crafting events outside during the summer which will continue whether or not her buffet is allowed.

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William Ingalls

William Ingalls is the weekend reporter at WREX. He joined the team in 2019 as a photographer after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English from Augustana College. William was born and raised in Rockford and went to high school at Christian Life.

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