Grovetown's first merchants association is now open for business.
The newly formed Grovetown Merchants Association recently began recruiting, said Sonny McDowell, a member of the association's steering committee.
"We are taking our very first baby steps now," McDowell told Grovetown officials at the city's most recent semimonthly city council meeting. "And we appreciate your support, and as you visit businesses in Grovetown, talk about it because somebody will eventually be around in the next couple of months to ask every business in town to join."
The steering committee, made up of the owners of five Grovetown businesses, has been meeting for several weeks putting together an eight-page organizational plan and association goals.
By uniting the city's businesses, retailers and professionals, association leaders hope to establish a positive and identifiable image for the city's business districts and attract more consumers to Grovetown through collective advertising.
McDowell said the association will offer businesses training and networking opportunities through regular business development and management seminars and "just function as a merchants association, help business in Grovetown. That's our goal."
The association also will serve as a collective voice addressing issues affecting city businesses.
"The steering committee and all the businesses we have talked to are very excited about things that we hope to accomplish," McDowell said.
Committee members have already planned for presentations from the CSRA Alliance Job Training Program and the University of Georgia Business Development Center on how they can help small businesses write business, financial and marketing plans. Developing the Wrightsboro Road business corridor and the Robinson Avenue Beautification Program also are on the association's agenda.
Association members will be asked to participate in city and county events including a parade and the city's annual Fourth of July celebration and Heritage Festival. A Small Business of the Year Award also will be established.
"And we plan to have our first annual general membership meeting at the new community center," McDowell said.
Annual membership dues cost $250 for regular voting members and $150 for associate nonvoting members. In addition to training and networking opportunities, association members will receive special advertising rates, a brochure listing member businesses, discounts at other member businesses, window decals and monthly newsletters.
For more information, call (706) 860-9699 or e-mail email@example.com.
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