The Bonne Terre Chamber of Commerce held its regular monthly meeting at LaPachanga on Wednesday. Chamber members heard a presentation from SEED$ Director Janey Radford, who talked about how the area can work together to create a better environment for new businesses to start and to grow. SEED$ is a newly-formed initiative to foster new business and small business growth.
“This affects all of us. It’s not just about helping individual businesses, but businesses help our local economies, which help our regional economies, which help our national economies. I really do believe we can save the world one business at a time,” said Radford.
She said one simple step is buying local.
“This is a good and really simple way that we can all help each other out. When buying local that money stay within the community. The owner lives here and they spend their money here. The ribbon cuttings are off the wall in this region and we want them to stay in business,” said Radford.
Businesses fail everyday and Radford suggests mentors are needed who are willing to go and let new business owners know what they are good at and that they are willing to help.
“Give them a business card and be sincere. When you are sincere people will remember you when they are faced with that problem. They will remember that sincere wonderful person that offered to help and they will call on you. That is another way business leaders in this community can help one another,” said Radford.
She also suggested letting businesses know what they are doing right and also addressing issues that they are doing wrong will help. They should know why a customer may or may not come back.
Radford said if one in three small businesses added one additional employee the United States would be at full employment.
“The most jobs in the country come from small businesses and most of the times with less than 50 employees each,” said Radford.
SEED$ is committed to helping small businesses grow and create jobs in the region. One on one business coaching is available, along with group training and workshops that will be held to benefit both start-ups and existing businesses using the “lean start-up” methodology.
SEED$ is located in the recently renovated depot building on Municipal Drive in Park Hills.
The business spotlight during the luncheon was on Shared Blessings and the chamber collected donations for the ministry. Director Shelly Bess said they are having a gospel concert on June 14 on the lawn at the facility and anyone who wants to come sing is welcome to participate.
Upcoming chamber events include the annual fishing derby this Saturday, the golf tournament on June 20, the 4th of July celebration, and an auction on Oct. 4. The Bonne Terre chamber is still accepting donations for the 4th of July Celebration and are accepting submissions until June 9 for the Lil’ Miss & Mr. Bonne Terre Firecracker contest.
United Way Executive Director Anna Kleiner announced The Ozark 5K 2014 Tough Run that will take place June 14 and they only have around 100 tickets left for the United Way Cardinals Game.
Donna Hickman announced that this Wednesday and every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. the Cornerstone Café will serve a free meal at the Centenary Methodist Church in downtown Bonne Terre.
“I’m thrilled to tell you that starting today we have donations from Panera Bread in Farmington. Not only will we be serving it, we will be giving it to the diners as well,” said Hickman.
The community betterment group announced that they now have Bonne Terre t-shirts in youth sizes as well as adult sizes.
The Bonne Terre Airport is looking for volunteers to help with the annual Aire Festival and will trade volunteer time for advertising. They are also still looking for vendors and sponsors for the event. The Aire Festival will take place on Sept. 6-7.
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