By Mark Jones
Community News Managing Editor
At its first monthly meeting, the newly-established Mountain Business Association rolled out plans to add member value while benefiting the Signal Mountain community with two cooperative efforts in the coming months.
Gretchen Jones, MBA president, discussed ways member businesses could join forces to provide gifts for the Signal Mountain Newcomers group, which is planning to restart the welcome basket program by July for new mountain residents.
“What we would like to do is join forces so members of the MBA could come together and collectively decide what we’d do,” said Ms. Jones. “We’re looking for foot traffic and awareness. This is an avenue for getting people interested in your business. We’re just looking for ways to get your name, your business to the new people moving to the mountain.”
Christa Seal, welcome committee chairwoman for the Newcomers, said to meet the needs of the projected “influx” of people moving to the mountain with the coming of the new middle/high school, the group plans to provide new residents a basket filled with various items like pertinent local information, coupons, maps, pens and small gifts.
“This will be goodwill from the businesses, from the people of the mountain to welcome these new people moving here,” said Mrs. Seal.
Newcomers will identify new residents by checking with local water utilities, then arrange and deliver the baskets. She said to make the program work, funding for the baskets and promotional items must be collected. She is seeking a minimum of 100 items from each participating business, or items with a shelf-life of 90 days in order to get the program launched.
Linda Roberts, owner of Cutting Corners Framing & Art Gallery, said when she moved to the mountain the welcome basket program was operating and she found it to be very helpful. Later as a business owner she also found it valuable to participate.
“This is a great avenue to get them in the store and all I had to do was give a coupon,” said Ms. Roberts. “I think it’s great someone is picking it up.”
For the MBA’s second promotional venture, the group voted to partner with Friends of Mountain Arts Community Center to sponsor a disc golf booth during the annual 4th of July festival. The event will allow people to take throws from different distances for an opportunity to win coupons and prizes provided by member businesses.
Ms. Jones said MBA members would be represented on signage at the event and the group will also have an antique car in the parade.
Additional member benefits Ms. Jones announced during the meeting were a 20 percent discount for members from Cooper Office Supply on Cherry Street and reduced rates for document shredding. First Tennessee Bank has made meeting rooms available at the main branch in downtown Chattanooga for owners of home-based businesses in need of space to work with clients. There is also a deal in the works to receive discounted computer repair services.
The next meeting of MBA is scheduled for July 6 at 7:45 a.m. at Alexian.
E-mail Mark Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org