Joyce and Frank Stewart, innkeepers at the Richmond Victorian Inn for the last eleven years, continue the inn’s twenty-six year hospitality tradition. Take a peek at the inn and it’s innkeepers in this video produced by the Western Slopes Business Association in collaboration with Mount Mansfield Community TV.
April WSBA Member’s Perk At Bridge Street Hair
BRIDGE STREET HAIR announces our April Membership Perk for WSBA Members Anytime during April, WSBA members or their employees will receive $5 off on all products and services on a visit of $50 or more. You can do this more than once during the month! Take advantage of this special offer.
Questions? Ask Denise Barnard at Bridge Street Hair.
Do you have a WSBA Member to Member offer you would like featured? Email Sherry Daniels.
April 30, 2013 – WSBA Breakfast & Facebook Marketing
Facebook: The New Yellow Pages!Optimizing Facebook for Small Business Marketing
Enjoy breakfast and learn about a must-have FREE tool for reaching your market on the Web.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 – 7:45 am – 8:45 am – Richmond Congregational Church Fellowship Hall
Learn why Facebook matters and should be included in your small business marketing strategy. Find out how to quickly utilize Facebook in an effective way for your business, including creating your own FREE business page and optimizing it for marketing. Laura will cover her top key tips about this social networking strategy and how it can most effectively fit into your marketing mix.
Laura Hill, owner of Breezy Hill Marketing: Breezy Hill Marketing empowers individuals and companies to achieve business development and revenue goals through the use of carefully designed and implemented marketing strategy and tactics. Laura Hill has over fifteen years of experience creating and implementing marketing strategy for small & large companies.
Price: $5/member and $8.00 non-member. Everyone welcome!
Please reserve your spot in advance by emailing Cindy Feloney or call her at 373-8790.
PS – Not convinced your small business needs Facebook. See Laura’s article “Why Your Small Business will benefit from Social Media, Today”elsewhere in the eNewsletter for compelling stats on how important it is.
Attention High School Seniors & Parents – Money For College
The Western Slopes Business Association will present two scholarships to eligible candidates from Mt Mansfield Union High School in June 2013.
The beneficiary of each scholarship will be awarded $1,500 toward their first year of higher education.
Graduating seniors are eligible for these scholarships and may be encouraged to apply by a staff member of Mount Mansfield Union High School. Our one-page application is easy and quick to complete. If you are interested in applying, check with MMUHS Student Services or visit the student services scholarship listing at the MMUHS website or the WSBA website. Application deadline is Friday, May 17, 2013.
Make Family & Business Disaster Preparedness Planning a Priority and Resolve to Be Ready in 2013.
Richmond and other communities in Vermont are getting ready for the next emergency or disaster, whether man-made or natural. Planning is underway for a state-wide exercise, called CAT II in March 2014. In order to be ready, participants need to have plans formed by July 2013. Families are urged to create family emergency plans. Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security have produced a booklet to help guide families as they create plans. It is available at the Richmond Town Center, Richmond Free Library or here: http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness. On this page you will also find guides for business emergency planning. Think ahead and plan for times when you might be without electricity for 5 days or more, or what would happen if high winds, flood or fire threaten your business or prevent customers from using your services. Looks for ways to mitigate the impacts of natural or man-made situations. Many insurance companies have risk management analysts who can help you identify potential hazards or help develop plans for meeting challenges caused by failures in infrastructure or utilities. Good planning is good business. A business with a plan will recover faster and lose less than a business who leave planning to “someday”. Make sure local police and government know how to contact you if there should be an issue that arises in non-business hours.
Think also how your business might be seen as an asset to the community in times of stress or disaster. Are there services you could offer to the residents in times of duress? Could your business offer food or shelter or become a meeting place? Do you have products or equipment that could be used in clean up or recovery?
(Share your disaster strategies with other businesses. Consider publishing the highlights of your plan or your preparedness experiences through this newsletter. Help your business community be ready.)
WSBA Wedding Market Group On the Move
The WSBA wedding group recently adopted an official name: Vermont Weddings on the Westerns Slopes (VWOWS)
The Vermont Weddings on the Western Slopes PDF and print brochure is in the works. The brochure will be the group’s first primary connection on the Web to 100s of potential wedding clients. If your market includes weddings, you need to be in this brochure.There is still time to get into the brochure. Email Nick deTarnowsky, WSBA Vice President and owner of Blue Sky Weddings & Events for more information.
The next meeting of the WSBA Wedding Group is Monday May 6, 2013, 1:00 PM at the West Monitor Barn conference room. All are welcome.
Bride & Groom Photo Credit: Benjamin D. Bloom
Vermont Gear Swap & Sale
Saturday, May 4, 9 AM – 3 PM, West Monitor Barn
Clean Out Your Basement = Clean Up Irene
With only three weeks until the 2nd Annual Gear Swap, now is the time to sort through your hiking, camping and outdoor gear and ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be nice to upgrade this for something lighter, newer or cleaner?”
We are now accepting your donated or consigned items for the May 4 Vermont Gear Swap and Sale at the Monitor Barn in Richmond. Drop off spots include WCAX-TV in South Burlington, Westaff in Burlington, or at the Monitor Barn in Richmond (ask for Matt).
Money raised during the Gear Swap (all day May 4th…music, food, and lots of great gear!)will go towards the on-going Hurricane Irene cleanup efforts being undertaken by the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and the Burlington Sunrise Rotary. Find out more at www.gearswapvt.org.
Your Small Business Can Benefit from Social Media, Today
–By Laura Hill, Breezy Hill Marketing
Social media is such a catch phrase right now that we often glaze over when we see the phrase mentioned. But the concept is still quite powerful and does hold value for small business owners.
So, why bother with social media? It’s a numbers game, really. The statisticians are going crazy right now with the ever increasing volume of user’s not just signing up for social media but consistently engaging in it. Here are a few numbers that stood out for me from a recent article on the salesforce.com blog:
Google’s +1 button is used 5 million times a day. (Huffington Post)
23% of Facebook’s users check their account five or more times every day. (The Social Habit)
There are 2.7 billion “likes” per day. (Digital Trends)
80% of users prefer to connect with brands on Facebook. (Huffington Post)
12% of users have looked for deals on social media using their smartphones. (AllTwitter)
More than 20 million US users have their birthday and year included in their Facebook profile. (Mediabistro)
Facebook posted a 67% year-over-year mobile growth rate. (AllFacebook)
People are using social media…ALL. THE. TIME. How can you as a small business owner take advantage of this engagement within reasonable timeframe and guidelines? Here are my tips, for the novice in social media:
1) Start small. Pick one or two platforms to begin with and learn how to participate there first. I suggest you begin with Facebook, Google+ and possibly Twitter. There are many more platforms that offer tremendous value and fun. But start here and move to the others when you have gained some confidence in what you are doing.
2) Listen. Find people online who are ideal customers, interested in what you are interested in, follow them, and then listen to them. Find out what people talk about and how they talk about different things.
3) Be selfless. Support others in their efforts to gain attention and promote their brand, their organization, or their interest. By engaging in like minded, similar interest pages/personas you are bringing awareness to your own business in a non threatening and very non-salesy way which people really appreciate.
4) Help. Share information from your business that is helpful. Are you offering a special? Do you provide a technique that is unfamiliar to others? Can you educate the world about your business so they understand that what you offer and why it is special?
5) Take it slow. When it is done right, social media is an organic experience that builds slowly. There can be quick wins and immediate results but by in large, the benefits come over time through slow and purposeful engagement that allows people to get to know your brand and what you offer.
Social media is here to stay and can be a wonderful way for small businesses to share meaningful information about their business to their community. I highly recommend implementing a social media program for your business.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can take advantage of Facebook for your business, come join us for a presentation about Facebook: The New Yellow Pages! Optimizing Facebook for Small Business Marketing. Enjoy breakfast for a small fee and learn about a must-have FREE tool for reaching your market on the Web. Tuesday, April 30, 2013 – 7:45 am – 8:45 am – Richmond Congregational Church Fellowship Hall
Richmond’s Planning Commission Wants Your Input
–Cathleen Gent, Town Planner, Richmond
The April 17th Planning Commission public information session about several short-term zoning changes was well attended, with a good exchange of ideas. The Planning Commission will meet again in the coming weeks to make final changes to the zoning regulations and schedule a public hearing.
Thinking ahead, the Planning Commission will soon begin discussions about moving forward with revisions to our zoning regulations or revising the Richmond Town Plan and has prepared a survey to get your ideas. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey, which you can pick up at the Town Clerk’s office or the Planning & Zoning Office — or click on the following link to complete the survey online right now. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XFSCGB7
Your opinions are important. Help shape Richmond’s future!
PS by Larry Bohen – The Richmond Planning Commission is proceeding with a proposal to implement the following three areas of regulation which they believe will be of benefit to the Town and its citizens. It is possible that these regulations could be implemented by this summer.
Food Hazard Overlay District – Those areas within the flood plain. If you have property in the flood plain or within 100 feet of it, you need to pay attention to this discussion.
Jolina Court Signage – Jolina Court leads to the cheese factory property. Anticipating that the cheese factory property will be developed commercially in the future, this signage regulation will allow a directory sign similar to the one on the corner of Bridge & Railroad Streets identifying the Richmond Market & Beverage, True Value Hardware, Richmond Rescue….
Waiver of Parking Requirements for Specific Buildings in Downtown Richmond – Currently, Richmond’s regulations require businesses, that want to expand or move into the village, to demonstrate that there is ample parking either on their property or public. The current proposed regulation change is to waive this requirement for the Bridge Street block (from the Masonic building to Belgen Cycles / Village Bicycle) and properties across from this block excluding TD Bank.
Can’t get to Richmond governmental meetings? View them on Comcast channel 15 or online at MMCTV. The above regulation changes were discussed at length at the the 4/17/2013 Planning Commission public input meeting and should be available online in a day so.