New Faces, New Ideas, Continued Growth Within WSBA
This month we welcome Ben Kinnaman, owner, Greensea Systems, Tom Holmes, President, HMC Advertising, and Brad Battin, Sales Director, Bolton Valley to our Board. In addition, Julie Gutgsell and Cindy Feloney have joined the Board as Associate Directors. Welcome all!
PS – More on our new Board members in a future eNewsletter.
Our Association, whose mission is to help create healthy strong communities thru the building and support of local businesses is on the move!
The joint WSBA / REDC Business Breakfast was loads of fun, very well attended and informative. The next WSBA breakfast will be April 30th, 7:45 AM again at the Richmond Congregational Church. If you market on the Web or want to, don’t miss this opportunity to learn about one of the most valuable FREE tools to reach your market. Read more about this educational opportunity in this eNewsletter.
Each time a wedding is held in our region it generates more than $100,000 in related expenditures. We often think of the rental hall and caterer but there are haircuts, flowers, cakes, B&B rooms, gifts and the list goes on. We want those purchases made at businesses in our Association. Thirty-three local businesses that support weddings have banded together to create a marketing strategy to help each other and to help brides and grooms fulfill their wedding dreams HERE!
Did you know there are at least seventy-five businesses in Huntington? A conversation is going on to organize them into a sub-group of WSBA and/or a Huntington Economic Development Committee. We think helping bring them together to work on common initiatives is enormously important and will strengthen WSBA "territory." Email Mark Smith for more information.
Underhill and Jericho are part of our school district and some think we should expand our Association to help businesses in these communities as well. We have started this important conversation and will keep you informed as we go!
Memberships are coming in at about 6 per week and soon we will be at an historic high. I have shared with our Board that nothing less than 100% is our goal. We are on our way! Have you joined or renewed yet this year?
This list could continue but I will stop here. We are revved up and excited about all that is happening.
If you haven’t joined, know you are needed. A good first step would be to go to the WSBA business directory. Are you in it? Every business in Bolton, Huntington and Richmond gets a FREE basic listing. Is your information correct? WSBA member listings are enhanced with their logo, a 50 word description, a link to their website and Facebook page and the opportunity to be featured in this eNewsletter..
Cheers! Thomas Hark
March WSBA Member’s Perk At Richmond Victorian Inn
If you’ve never been to tea at the Richmond Victorian Inn, you are in for a treat this Sunday, March 24th for a WSBA Afternoon Tea Special at the Richmond Victorian Inn. It’s an amazing experience where you will enjoy a full British-style Afternoon Tea created by chef, Frank Stewart. On 3/24, WSBA members will receive $3.00 off per person. Full 3-course afternoon tea includes tea sandwiches or savory, freshly baked scones with cream and homemade jam, and a delicious dessert, regularly priced at $19.95 per person, including tax. Gratuities not included. Reservations suggested, as space is limited. Gather a few friends and make an afternoon of it – pamper yourselves, locally!
Joyce & Frank Stewart, Innkeepers The Richmond Victorian Inn
PO Box 652 / 191 E. Main Street
Richmond, VT 05477
802-434-4410 or Toll Free 1-888-242-3362
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.
Presentation by Laura Hill of Breezy Hill Marketing
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.
Buy Local – It’s About Community — by Marie Thomas, Guest Journalist
When you shop at a local store, you are helping the entire community. Towns with lots of businesses, either home based or clustered in a commercial district, make a town a great place to live. Local business supports local efforts like little league and recreational soccer or donate to raffles and silent auctions for schools and non-profits. Having a healthy local business community means you can get what you want close to home and you can expect better customer service. I love it that I can ask Mike at Richmond Market and Beverage to carry golden raisins and two weeks later I find golden raisins in the bulk section. I also love it that Craig Colburn knows what kind of wine I like and can direct me to a great deal that is guaranteed to please. I love it that Dan Noyes and his folks at Richmond Home Supply will help me find the right accessory for my house or order extra large bags of dried blood for my garden. I love it that Laura at Stargazer will order the collector sets that my son and his friends are into or that she will help me find the perfect gift for my granddaughter. Marvin at Bridge Street Café knows how I like my omelets. When you shop local, loyalty means something. Local owners are willing to go the extra mile because you are a regular customer. Brian and Lisa at Washburn’s Service Center are so flexible and help me find a schedule that won’t disrupt my day with car repairs. Peter Bormann at Mann and Machine is no less accommodating. When you shop local on a regular basis you know your vendors and they know you. What could be better than to be greeted by name or to have someone ask about your family or your dog or your latest project? You don’t need to be a millionaire or a movie star to be treated like a celebrity when you shop locally.
And I find that I get good prices along with those good services. What helps to keep prices lower is if you use cash or checks. Keep more of your dollars local and pay with cash, check or debit card. If we use cash, debit or checks, we help them keep their prices lower for us. And it is better for us all to budget our money and stay within our means.
PS by Larry Bohen: Marie’s buy local article is the first of a series to be published in this eNewsletter. Email meyour thoughts about buying locally, what you buy locally, why you do / don’t, what you can’t find locally…
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.
Scholarships are available in two categories: ENTREPRENEUR & TRADE.
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.
WSBA Wedding Market Group On the Move
The WSBA Wedding Group has accepted a proposal from Breezy Hill Marketing to create a professionally designed brochure to be available primarily online as a PDF download. The brochure is expected to be widely distributed to potential brides, grooms and wedding planners as part of a an extensive promotion plan. If your market includes weddings, you need to be in this brochure. Email Nick deTarnowsky, Richmond resident and owner of Blue Sky Weddings & Events for more information.
The next meeting of the WSBA Wedding Group is Monday April 1, 2013, 1:00 PM at the West Monitor Barn conference room. All are welcome.
Bride & Groom Photo Credit: Benjamin D. Bloom
Inventory of Richmond Commercial Rental Space Begins — by Cathleen Gent, Richmond Town Planner
The Richmond Economic Development Committee (REDC) is spearheading a project to develop a new inventory of available business rental space. The inventory will be updated monthly and will provide a central clearinghouse for property owners who have available commercial space for rent and people who are looking for space for a new or expanding business.
In the coming weeks Stephenie Douglas-Hughes, REDC member, will contact owners of commercial property to gather information for the inventory. In the meantime, please contact Stephanie if you’d like information about your available space to be added to the commercial rental space inventory or if you are looking for space. Stephanie can be reached at 434-7295 or by email.
It’s expected that the inventory will be available offline and online in late spring.