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Mountain Business Association plans for 2013

The Mountain Business Association is gearing up for the rest of the year, making goals and planning marketing strategies in efforts to maximize the mountain’s local businesses.

“Visibility in the community is always important,” said new MBA president Betty Crawford, owner of 12 Paws Pet Bakery. “The MBA is a vital and important part of the community, so we want to do some activities to let some people know we are up here.”

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Contributed photo

Board members of the Mountain Business Association meet recently at Signal Mountain Town Hall to begin sketching out marketing plans for 2013. From left are secretary Susan Robertson, president Betty Crawford, Jeff Price, treasurer Sandy Smith, John Moon, Mark Bonastia, Betsy Martin, Dan McCaffrey and Steve Adams. Not pictured are board members Karie Holmes and Michael Huesman.

According to Signal Mountain Vice Mayor and MBA secretary Susan Robertson, business on Signal Mountain has been steadily down. Since the MBA’s purpose is to promote business on the mountain, whether the business is located on the mountain or serves the mountain from an outside location, the group hopes to find a solution to those declining sales.

“People go into business up here because they really believe in what they have. And I would almost guarantee that if a store doesn’t have something, they could get it for you,” said Crawford. “I think it is really important that people shop local.”

The MBA began in 2006 when a group of local business owners decided they needed an association dedicated to promoting business on the mountain, said Robertson. She added that she doesn’t think many people really understand what the association is meant to do for the mountain.

“[Gaining] memberships is always a challenge,” said Robertson. “Events can be a challenge too, because it’s a small group that puts them together.”

Events planned for 2013 are the annual Sunday on Signal sale and shopping extravaganza and Fourth of July parade. Also being tossed around is an idea for a Signal Mountain Expo at Town Hall geared toward supporting local service providers that don’t have a retail front in the town, said Robertson. The expo, however, is not yet a confirmed event.

Robertson added that a kiosk will be set up in Town Hall with brochures and flyers promoting local businesses.

“If you shop in your community that money stays in your community,” she noted. Town Manager Honna Rogers did a study that found that about $68 of every $100 spent in the community stays in that community to benefit its economy, said Robertson.

A slightly related ongoing topic being discussed by the Town Council involves beautifying and making the commercial area better for pedestrian use.

“The town would love to get a street grant for crosswalks and make it walkable,” said Robertson.

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