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Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

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Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/11/2007 6:11 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JULY 11TH

Hi guys!
I'm sorry I missed the dance on the square Saturday night--had a boy playing basketball in Iowa City. Sounds like it was a real great night. I knew we could do it!---let's go for 5 more kegs next year! seriously---it takes a lot of man hours to put this thing together and great kudos to all that volunteered for this event!
Next year let's all try to be involved retail wise with our businesses. For example Carson Ford could offer free test rides in a new Ford (free rides to and from for those that would like to indulge but not drive!) Special t-shirts for the class of 68--or whatever year---open mike performances before and after the show at the Jave house or Wood or wherever for those that want to come early or stay late---sidewalk sales---outdoor restaurant seating--rv displays--etc etc etc
There is no reason when the square is full of customers that we as a retail group are not capitalizing on it. When there is nobody up there--( like on a Tuesday at 10 am as an example) is when you should be with a skeleton crew. Does that make sense? Believe me--I am speaking to the guy in the mirror because I am just as guilty as anyone else about this. But I am trying to change---are you?
Well--I'm sure you heard--I turned 50 on Monday--thanks to all for the kind words--e-mails--dirty cards and phone calls---made me feel younger---not!!!:)

Here is a note from Brenda about the Red Hat Ladies---again I think they are a great group to entice to our square as long as it is for the benefit of retail and the retailers are willing to pursue it. Anyhow--here's where we're at--by the way---this is the retail committee meeting---this forum is it so if you have any input you'd better get logged in!

Rob and Chris,

For the past two years we have had a Poker Run event for Red Hat Ladies in early October.  This has been a joint project between the local RHL chapter and a subcommittee of the Chamber Retail Committee.  It has been very successful both years.  This year the RHL chapter has decided that they are not able to participate.  Also two of our subcommittee members are no longer part of the Chamber.  There was a lot of work needed by both of these groups in order to make these events happen. 

I have talked with most of the remaining Red Hat subcommittee members and had emails from others.  Based on those discussions, I am suggesting that we skip the Red Hat Ladies event this October.  I would also suggest that the Retail Committee talk later in the year about whether we want to try something in October 2008 or not.  Possibly after skipping a year, we would be ready to do another event.  And we might also have some creative ideas for a new type of event that we could do with these Ladies.  One of the concerns is that after two years we have exhausted the Poker Run idea, and thus our turnout for a third year might be disappointing. 



We do still have the mailing list of the hundred plus ladies who came to last years Red Hat event.  I think that it could be worthwhile to send out a mailing to those ladies letting them know of our intent to skip a year, but also give them some type of coupon and suggest that they bring a small group to Carthage some weekday, have lunch and shop.  We might even identify a particular day, call it Carthage Red Hat day, but not have any organized activities.  This would take much less coordination. 

Please put this on the agenda for the next Retail Committee meeting.  It could also be something that could be discussed at the planning session that is being planned by the Member Services Committee in August.
(again--this is the retail committee meeting if you've got input this is the place to input it!!!!rc)

Brenda 

I think maybe have a Red Hat Shopping day for either the Wish or one of the other 12 days of Christmas. You know kill two birds sort of thing. just a thought---rc

please please please register---log in-----and TYPE your thoughts---I am committed to do this daily and really try to make this work--am I alone?
talk to you tomorrow
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/12/2007 2:01 PM

Posted by:superman597
Not a retailer but applaud Rob's efforts, would like to see others chime in and comment on his great ideas. Rob, don't get discouraged by others lack of participation!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/12/2007 2:36 PM

Posted by:MattDickinson
Hang in there Rob!  We've seen a tremendous increase in new users registering for the forums over the last few days, so I'm confident that even though some might be bashful, they are all reading and trying to catch up to you!  You asked for comments:

1. Too bad about the lack of support for the Red Hat Ladies Day, but I certainly understand when so many key people leave the group.  If the local group itself doesn't show interest, there's little we can do.  I like your idea of offering them something, via a mailing, to get them here during the Christmas season.  Let's go with that!

2. Edina:  I haven't been there for years, but can imagine what you describe.  My worst nightmares used to be entering Carthage with those sights and impressions, but that's no longer the case.  We have it very good here, and as long as that positive attitude prevails, we'll continue to grow and prosper.  Thanks for the comparison, it helps people realize what all we have!

3. I echo Nat's thoughts on the Street Dance, and the Fourth overall:  It takes a lot of volunteers to make things happen, and when they all come together, it is great!  Thanks to you all, again!

4. You ain't old, Rob!

5. Poll: I was number 4 to vote, so we have a long ways to go.  Anyone reading this who has not voted:  Please read through this forum so you understand more about the projects before you vote, and then please vote.  Rob went to a lot of trouble to get the first-ever Carthage Poll on here, and we need to fill up the ballot box!  :)

Rob:  RE: Square Mapping, can you find me a map of the square/buildings that is fairly current?  I know where I can get some pretty old maps, but ideally we'd use a current one, or draw something ourselves (more work).  Anyway, after the County Fair, I might have some time to start something.

That's it from here for today.  Lots going on everyone, keep up the great work!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/13/2007 1:25 AM

Posted by:jrtire
Hi everybody (?)  Yes, I have registered and will be watching and reading. (Joe is kinda "computer-challenged" so I will relay thoughts.)  We, as a family, and a retailer in Carthage are always interested in new ideas and hanging together is the only way to get things done!  Thanks Rob, Matt, Nat for getting the ball rolling.  Will be joining in too!  BC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/13/2007 9:59 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JULY 13TH

Oh no! I just realized it's Friday the 13th!!! I don't care! I've got bloggers!!!! Thanks to all that have jumped in!! I know now that I'm not alone out there in cyberspace.
Matt I'm encouraged by the # of those signing on--is the Plumb hot--could we bring a laptop to the chamber meeting and show the board members how easy it is to register/log on/blog on?
Here's the down and dirty update on things as I see them today
The calling tree has started the process of getting the building owners their forms to fill out. If you are a business or building owner--please fill out the sheet and turn it in to Cyndy at the chamber office (she also has the sheets if you need one) I would really like to have the lion's share of these sheets done by July 31st so we can mop up the stragglers in August. I would like to have the paper map done by the 1st of September so we can start putting together lessor/leasees for  the 12 days of Christmas--See there is a reason for all this! Matt I've got an old map that I think will work for the square properties--has descriptions --I think it originated with historic register.

I sure you have noticed that I am concentrating on the 12 days of Christmas! I feel that if we as a retail group concentrate on these 12 days--filling the empty store fronts with retail--having a real eye candy lighting display around the square--Christmas dinner theatre---red hat lady christmas shopping day--community chirstmas band/choir--wine tastin---Christmas Wish---Christmas Open House--- fill in the blank with your idea-----We can establish Carthage as the official must see/do Christmas Capitol of the tri-states! If we can pull this off this year---I am sure it will spill over to the summer tourism season---what a great segway........

the last two times I've driven by the Old Jail I have seen 1 or 2 busloads of people sitting on the ground eating their lunch--immediately the old Rob thought--"yeah they would rather sit on the ground and eat balonie than spend a dime in Carthage" then the much older and much wiser Rob went "Huh---if we were to set up some picnic tables on the southside of the square under all those beautiful shade trees and let the Elders at the jail know that the buses are welcome to park on the Southside in front of the other old jail so their riders could actually sit down to eat--we might get a little more traffic to the square." At least we're inviting them to visit our square. It's a start. 7 picnic tables could handle one bus---three parking spots in front of the jail--2 large trash cans-----

enogh for me today---thanks to all who took the blogging plunge! I am going to see if I can use 7 picnic tables from the park for a week or 2! Have a great Friday the 13th---it's been my lucky day so far!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/13/2007 4:25 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
July 13th

this just in from Brenda---I will leave this up to the group. What do you think we should do?
RCThe annual community band concert is also one of those projects that is a part of the Chamber retail committee.  There was not a subcommittee for this as there was with the Red Hat Ladies Event.  Just different members of the committee took on some of the work related to the event. 



I think I told you that Marla Clark, who has done the majority of the legwork for the summer community band concerts in past years, had told me that she was unable to do it again this year.  This past Wednesday I talked with Linda Hartweg, who has been the director for the community band.  Linda said that her time this summer has been taken up more than in the past because of the worked needed to coordinate all the new students that are part of the band, getting things arranged for band camp, and planning for football season.  She said that she really didnt feel that she had time to fit in the community band this year, and asked if we could take a year off.  She emphasized that she likes doing the community band, and would look at doing it again in summer 2008.



The band concert was always a lot of fun for those who participated, and drew a nice crowd on the Square.  It is questionable whether it benefited the Chamber members.  I think last year we timed it for the opening night of Ridiculous Days, and some of the businesses on the Square tried to do a special sale and stay open till the beginning of the concert.  But I havent talked to them about the response that they had from shoppers. 



Unless there is someone, or I should probably say two someones, who you think would want to take on this event and get it pulled together in the next couple weeks, this may have to be another event that we are not able to do this year.  Let me know.





Brenda 

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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/13/2007 4:49 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
july 13th

Just came across this letter that Brenda wrote in the Journal--it is actually posted to this website. I think it is so well written I want to post it here!

(letter to the community from Brenda Pyatt, published 6/13/07 in the Hancock County Journal Pilot.  Used with permission)
Community Development Update Give us a chance to compete

I like to shop.  And even more, I like to find bargains.  I had an exciting moment as a mother recently when my daughter stated that she has a hard time paying full price for something that she might find on sale later.  I have trained her well.  But in addition to rejoicing that I had raised a good bargain hunter, I also used that teachable moment to share with her the importance of supporting our local merchants, which is often the best bargain. 

A bargain is not getting the cheapest price.  It is more than saving money.  Part of a bargain is getting the quality product you want at a price you can afford and a price you are willing to pay.  But a real bargain also contributes to the local economy so that the economy can give back to you and your community. 


I try to buy all my gas in Carthage because the taxes that come from that purchase support improvements that the city can make to the roads on which I drive.  If I buy my gas for a few cents cheaper in another town or state, I may save a few cents (and not really much more than that if you add up the total you save), but it isnt a whole bargain because the taxes I paid in that other town are going to fix up their roads.  I do drive on their roads too, occasionally, but not to the extent that I drive back and forth here in Carthage and Hancock County.  If I have to pay a few cents more in Carthage for that gas, I get a benefit that outweighs that few cents. 

The same goes for buying food, clothes, etc.  That sales tax revenue comes into the city and the county and helps them provide all the services I want and need.  If I buy a widget in Carthage for $50.00, the sales tax on that widget will be $3.38 (6.75%).  Seventy-five cents (1.5%) of that tax comes back to the city of Carthage.  About thirteen cents comes to Hancock County (.25%).  The rest goes to the state of Illinois.  My total cost is $53.38.  If I get my widget for $45.99 in Quincy, the sales tax will be $3.56 (7.75%).  None of that goes for the local services here.  And then you have to consider the cost of travel.  Using the IRS mileage rate, the cost for a drive to Quincy is about $41.23 (85 miles at 48.5 cents per mile).  Even if I bought three other things while I was there (so I could divide the mileage cost between the four items), the cost of my one widget would work out to be $59.85.  I need to buy a lot of widgets to make it a real bargain to buy them out of town. 


And most importantly, we want our local merchants to continue to be here.  It should be worth a few extra dollars (that we can probably afford) to keep them here.  I am not saying that we cant buy anything in other places.  We all do that, and we will continue to shop out of town.  I am just saying that when we are looking for something we can easily buy here in Carthage, we need to measure the expense together with the benefits of having our storefronts filled and our merchants here.  They are important to our community because the sales tax revenue they generate helps keep our community going.  And they are also important for the many donations they make to every good cause that comes along, for the jobs that they give to our neighbors, and for the active part that they take in our community. 

There is one other element that should also be considered when we look at our shopping habits.  As the community development director I am always looking at ways we can bring new businesses into our community.  It is important to remember that when a new retail business is looking at our community, their primarily concern is whether local folks will buy their product.  If they get the sense that local people do not shop in our community, they wont want to locate their business here.  It would not be a smart business move. 

Most of us are bargain hunters.  When you are looking for a bargain, you cant say that you have truly found it unless you give our local merchants the chance to make a bid on the item you want.  And then you weigh the other benefits of shopping local into your final decision.  You will often find that shopping Carthage.of course is the best bargain there is.
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 12:04 PM

Posted by:jerryb4
Just got logged on and have enjoyed the comments.  You folks are right on with your ideas.  Like Rob said, we need to think outside the box and then execute some of those ideas.  Don't know if some of the business people are set up to sign into this blog but we really need them.  This is a great way to get our ideas out  without waiting for the next chamber or retail meeting.  I just came from the groundbreaking of the new apartments east of City Hall.  We really have some good things happening in Carthage right now and it is up to all of us to keep it going.  If you are reading this blog, please send us all a message letting us know you are there, even if you just say Hi.  At least that way we know you are with us. 

If you are a customer of Marine Bank, you are invited to our Customer appreciation Picnic on Thursday, July 26th starting at 4:30 p.m.  We are anticipating more people this year since Hamilton and Augusta mergered with us.  We normally serve between 900-1,000 people.  Could be a couple hundred more.  Hopefully, some of our businesses that are open will see some extra sales that evening. 
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 1:18 PM

Posted by:sgutting
I am a first time poster and hope to continue to post.  I believe that providing positive comments and feedback, as well as coming up with new ideas, can only strengthen our community projects and retail businesses.  Even though I am not a retail business owner (yet), I hope I can provide positive suggestions to further strengthen our retail businesses and our community.  I would also encourage others to do the same.  As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two, and so on.

About a month ago I sat in on a retail meeting at the North Side Java (great beverages by the way) and we were talking about activities that would keep people in town all day after the Strawberry Strut was over to take advantage of our retail businesses.  It was brought up that it seemed like after the races were over everyone vanished.  Although the race itself is a great success, the retail businesses rarely reaped the benefits of the masses of people that would be in town.  We were also trying to come up with events to have during Appreciation Days.  Also, with the thought in mind, of keeping people around longer to take advantage of our wonderful retail businesses.  I was listening to all the great ideas being passed around the table, and now I would like to offer one of the many ideas that run through my head.  I got to thinking of the things that are extremely popular nationwide, as well as, popular in every community in the tri-state area.  The one thing that kept popping up in my head was American Idol.  I am a huge American Idol fan, and my guess is even though you might not want to admit it, you are too.  So, here goes, here's my suggestion.....  What if we had a Carthage American Idol?  What if we had a contest and sent the winner of the Carthage American Idol to the national American Idol tryouts.  What if as a grand prize we paid for that persons expenses to travel their and try out?  Now, I know a lot you are thinking the same thing I did last year when Rob said he was going to do a Rock-in-Roll Christmas concert.  I thought this 50 year old man has finally fallen off his rocker.  Well, come to find out not only was it great but has also created a buzz and a feel of excitement that left people wanting more.  Congrats Rob again for a job well done (thats my brownie points for the day).  I know the dollar signs are probably flashing before your eyes.  Your thinking this could cost a lot of money.  Well, lets break it down then.  The closest tryouts we have to us would probably be in Chicago.  In my research I've found that the closest place for this coming year is in Atlanta, Ga.  So lets say we have to send two people to Atlanta (the winner obviously and one other person for moral support).  Roundtrip airfare from St. Louis to Atlanta would be around $700.  Hotel in downtown Atlanta for two nights $300.  Money for hotel transfers, cabs to and from tryouts, and meals $300.  Hopefully I've included everything.  I tried to figure high to be on the safe side.  I know a couple things could be lower depending when they would be booked.  So, that leaves us with $1300 in expenses.  You ask, how do we come up with $1300?  Well, a couple different ways......One we could ask for a small entry fee, say $10 to $20 to offset some of the expense.  Two, the retail committee could come up with one or two fundraiser ideas.  Three, sell sponsorships to the retail businesses in town.  I'm sure there's more, those are just some I've thought of.  I'm a sucker for great entertainment and so are a lot of other people.  If we had enough contestants you could make this last all morning and afternoon.  You could take an hour intermission where all the people could then shop on the square or eat on the square.  If they wanted to watch the rest of the entertainment they would have to stay on the square.  I don't know about your better half but my wife can't enter a store without spending money  (I love you honey).  With the proper planning and advertising this would work, I know it would.  I'm excited just writing about it, can't you tell.   This is the kind of event that could grow and grow every year.  I believe "A Christmas Wish" will sell out every show quickly this year because people are excited about it.  How many people have you told about it since last year that are planning on coming this year.  My guess is quite a bit.  That concert is growing just from word of mouth alone.  This could be the same way, but it will take some time to come up with a plan and then successfully engage that plan.

So, there's an idea from me.  What do you think?  One of my favorite sayings is "Activity breads Activity".  I'm always telling Rob that about the car business.  When you create activity, there is always more activity that follows.  Have a great day and I would Love to hear feedback.

Shawn
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 1:58 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JULY 16TH

WOOO!! HOOO!!

That's what I'm talkin about!!! That's what this site is all about!!! Exchanging ideas that we can all benefit from. I and my family are VERY big American Idol fans--(in fact Carson Ford is a major sponsor of the American Idol tryout in Quincy coming up in August)---so why not have it on the square in Carthage next year!!! You can bet I'll be talking to the WGEM folks about this! Great idea Shawn!!!!
Thanks also about the kind words for "A Christmas Wish"--We are planning to do it again this year and are adding 1 more show at this time. Check out the community calendar http://www.carthage-il.com/forums/calendar.php for the dates and times. I also added "A Christmas Wish" topic to the forum under community events and I will start adding to it as things come together for this years show---please add your comments on how we can make it better this year!
Shawn---you had the brownie points all the way until you mentioned something about a 50 year old man!!!!!
Thanks for the post---see you at chamber tomorrow
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 2:23 PM

Posted by:BillPyatt
Glad to have a nice turnout for the Ground breaking of the new Senior Housing project and the ribbon cutting at Angelini's Pizza today.
Always fun to be part of a "new thing" in Carthage

Bill Pyatt
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 3:14 PM

Posted by:chris@uscell
Hey, I am glad to be a part of the committee forum.  I also want to encourage everyone to try the homemade ice cream and check out the rest of the Farmer's market.  Every vegetable, loaf of bread, dip of ice cream that you buy continues to ensure that we will have a farmer's market and as the income increases for the merchants involved, we will more than likely keep them coming back.  Besides, stopping by just takes a minute and is enjoyable.  The farmer's market contributes to the small town charm. 

Good idea, Shawn.  If we had a break between each round of competition, maybe it would keep the people in town and get them shopping.  Also, the wider we open the competition, the broader the base of potential customers. 

Chris
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/16/2007 3:28 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
GREAT POSTS GUYS!
Hey Jerry--on vacation on the 26th--can you put a plate back for me? :)
I might see if the guys could put a new Taurus on display and maybe a truck. Let me know
Thanks!
RC

p.s.--just got back from the square--the farmer's market was going strong! please--please--please--if you are a local retailer--find a way to market to these people--if your in food---samples---set up a blender outdoors--have an open mike performance---if you sell merchandise have a table of discontinued or discounted items--if your a car dealer sell ice cream!!!  huh?!---get involved!--activity breeds activity--thanks Shawn
short story---Ann Cokel, Shawn and I are selling ice cream--a couple comes up and buys a scoop--the husband is from Carthage----[b]South Africa[/b]---they were delighted with our little town and she was snapping pictures like crazy----we do have something special here!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/17/2007 5:33 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JULY 17TH

Hi to all! Attended Chamber meeting today. gave report on how the retail warriors are carrying on our meetings 24/7 online. Busy day--I will let someone else write the rest today! Somebody blog for me!
Thanks
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 7/18/2007 1:23 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JULY 18TH

Hi to all!
This will be the last post for me until July 30th. I am heading on vacation starting tomorrow.
Here is a snapshot of what the retail committee is concentrating on now and in the near future
1)MAPPING OF THE SQUARE AREA MERCHANTS---the calling tree members are distributing Carthage building survey's to their associates. The purpose of this mapping is to identify:
The stakeholders--(building owners/business owners/leasee's)
The property--(what type of building/sq footage available for use/history/current use/history/lease availability...etc...etc)
once this is done prospective business operators will have a comprehensive map they can access to find out what is available---and the chamber will be able to communicate and better serve the current stakeholders with their services
PLEASE FILL OUT YOUR SURVEY AND TURN IT IN TO THE CHAMBER OFFICE ASAP

2)ONE COMMUNITY CALENDAR-In this age of the internet it is possible to have total community access to one workable calendar--If every individual--business--organization--would post their important dates to this one calendar--EVERYONE would know what is going on. This will help in scheduling community events either around or in conjunction with posted events. This can be done right now today--simply go to www.carthage-il.com  register as a user--24 hour turnaround until you can actually log on--and start posting your dates to the calendar--no date is to big or to small to post! Can you imagine the possiblities of networking and collaboration we can have with this if everyone used this one calendar?

3) 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS--From Thanksgiving to Christmas every Thursday/Friday/Saturday from 4pm-7pm the Carthage Square is going to be a winter wonderland of  LIGHTS, MUSIC, FOOD, AROMAS, AND SHOPPING you remember from Christmas past. Every storefront will be offering special holiday gifts/services and a dinner/musical is tentatively scheduled to make your magical Christmas evening complete. Carthage Christmas Cash will be available for all chamber members to purchase and give to their employee/patrons to spend on that special Christmas gift!
Stay tuned for more information on this very exciting promotion

4)RIDICULOUS DAYS/VOCAL POINT/RED HAT LADIES/COMMUNITY BAND/ FARMER'S MARKET/ TAILGATE FOOTBALL PARTIES/ILLINI WEST 1ST HOMECOMING---All of these  community events are very worthwhile and draw very good numbers of people to our business's. What are we doing business wise to accomodate these people when they are here?

The retail committee is only going to be as good as the level of participation of the business owners allows it to be. For all of these projects to come to fruition and succeed--100% committment must be achieved from all the business members---if not------

are you committed to making your business better? If your answer is yes--post it here---think outside your box---committ to being open when people are outside your door--invest in your future---share your ideas------------or don't

I'm heading on vacation to charge up my batteries--when I get home I'll be ready to roll---If there are a lot of posts here--we'll attack this thing--if not--I'll go sell some cars!---
RC 
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