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Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

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Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 12/13/2007 8:00 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
THURSDAY DECEMBER 13TH

HI TO ALL!

DON'T FORGET ANDY AVERY AT THE JAVAJAM AT 5PM AND "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY'S TONIGHT AT THE MARINE BANK COMMUNITY ROOM!
ESPECIALLY DON'T FORGET TO SHOP YOUR WONDERFUL HOMETOWN MERCHANTS BEFORE THE SHOW OR GAME OR PARTY! HERE IS A VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE THAT EXPLAINS WHY WE SHOULD SHOP WITH OUR LOCAL MERCHANTS!

Give a Gift To Our Economy: Shop Locally Owned This Holiday Season
Note: This article was originally published on Beacon Broadside.

by Stacy Mitchell 

Whether to patronize a chain or a locally owned business is not top of mind for many holiday shoppers, but it should be. It's a choice that has profound implications for our economy.

If you shop at an independent toy store, such as Be Beep in Annapolis, Maryland, you will likely see products made by Beka, a small toy manufacturer in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A family-owned business, Beka has opted not to sell to chains like Target and Wal-Mart. Doing so, explains co-owner Jamie Kreisman, would require moving production to low-wage factories overseas, which would eliminate what he and his brothers most love about the business: their relationships with their employees and working hands-on with their products.

Beka is healthy, but its future depends entirely on the survival of independent toy stores. Over the last decade, Wal-Mart and Target have aggressively overtaken this sector and now capture 45 percent of U.S. toy sales.

If you buy groceries for your holiday meals at an independent grocer, like Catalano's Market in Fresno, California, you will find lots of food produced by small-scale, local farmers, such as Paul Buxman.

A second-generation grower of peaches, Buxman nearly lost his farm selling to supermarket chains, which demand cutthroat prices and truckloads of perfect-looking, though often flavorless, fruit that only industrial farms can supply.

With bankruptcy looming, Buxman dropped the chains and forged relationships with independents like Catalano's. He works hard to give them the best fruit and they honor this by paying a fair price and accepting the natural ebb and flow of supply.

Today, Buxman's farm is back on track. Catalano's is doing well too, but owner Michael Catalano worries about Fresno approving still more chain supermarkets and recently a Wal-Mart. Since 1998, the top five supermarket chains, led by Wal-Mart, have doubled their market share and now capture nearly half of all grocery spending.

Patronize an independent CD store, like Waterloo Records in Austin, and you not only support a business owned by a music aficionado, but help to ensure opportunities for new artists. Many beloved bands got their start when a few store owners fell in love with their first albums and began recommending them.

That does not happen at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and other mass merchandisers, which now account for more than half of all album sales, but stock only chart-toppers and have no room for unknowns.

Chain retailers have expanded dramatically over the last two decades. Home Depot and Lowe's, barely a blip on the radar screen in 1986, control half of the hardware and building supply market. Barnes & Noble and Borders account for half of bookstore sales. Every sector is now dominated by a couple of chains, and Wal-Mart dominates them all, capturing one of every ten retail dollars we spend.

We assume that the chains represent economic progress, but in fact they take far more out of our economy than they contribute.

As the chains have expanded, tens of thousands of independent retailers have lost their livelihoods and laid off hundreds of thousands of employees. A study by David Neumark at UC-Irvine found that every new Wal-Mart store actually eliminates many more retail jobs than it creates.

The expansion of the chains has triggered a cascade of losses in other economic sectors. Some three million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been eliminated since 1990, in part because the chains have pressured companies, including Black & Decker and Levi's, to slash costs by moving overseas.

The chains also return very little of what their stores take in back to the communities where they operate. A study in Maine by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance found that only 14 cents of a dollar spent at big-box store remains in the state's economy.

In contrast, the study found that independent retailers spend more than half their revenue locally. They bank at local banks, hire local accountants, advertise in local media, and require many other local services that chains do not. For mid-sized and smaller cities especially, this is a vital source of economic activity and jobs that pay a middle-class income.

In exchange for all the businesses and jobs they destroy, the chains offer us employment in their stores. Wages for most of these jobs are so low that many big-box employees rely on Medicaid, food stamps, and other taxpayer-funded programs to get by.

None of this looks much like progress. In fact, what the big-box model most closely resembles are the old colonial economies of the European superpowers, which were organized, not to improve the lives of the local inhabitants, but to extract their wealth.

This holiday season, we can declare our independence and begin building a more prosperous economy by forgoing the chains and seeking out locally owned businesses.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
ROB

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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 12/14/2007 11:54 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
DECEMBER 14TH 2007

Hi to all!
I want to thank Andy Avery for an amazing open microphone performance at Northside Java last night. I got there at about 5:15 and for the next 45 minutes I was treated to all my favorite Christmas songs and Andy's unique testimony on his path with God. THANKS ANDY!

That is what I was looking for when I talked about the open Microphone night during the 12 days of Christmas! However, with Andy's performance--the bar is pretty high!!! If you have any talent you would like to showcase--come on up to the Northside Java during the 12 days and share it with us!!!

Please plan to take a half hour or so and do some shopping with our local merchants BEFORE  you go to "Home for the Holiday's" or your Christmas Party or the local ballgame. They have committed to staying open to make it more convenient for YOU!!!!

I've got tickets to "HH" for tonight!!!! I can't wait! It will be so nice to sit back and enjoy a great show with tremendous local talent and not have to worry about anything!

See you on the square and at the show!
Merry christmas!
Rob
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 12/21/2007 5:16 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
DECEMBER 21ST 2007

WHAT AN AMAZING COMMUNITY FULL OF TALENT!!!!!
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY'S WAS NOTHING SHORT OF TREMENDOUS!!
THE FOOD WAS GREAT---THE TALENT WAS TOP NOTCH---THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT WAS HEARTWARMING!!!! THIS IS WHAT CHRISTMAS IN CARTHAGE IS ALL ABOUT!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
ROB
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/3/2008 2:07 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JANUARY 3RD 2008

CHRISTMAS IN CARTHAGE---SUCCESS?

Well now that the holiday's are in the rearview mirror, we need to take a moment to review "CHRISTMAS IN CARTHAGE" Here are the win's and the losses as I see em. Please feel free to give your input--remember this is for the benefit of all
WINS
CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE--BIGGEST EVER--GOOD WEATHER--LOTS OF OUT-OF TOWNERS--CARTHAGE GOT SOME GREAT PR!!! IT WILL BE ON THE MUST DO LIST FOR NEXT YEAR FOR THE ENTIRE AREA!

CARTHAGE CHRISTMAS CASH---GREAT PROMO--SHOULD BE TWICE AS BIG NEXT YEAR!!

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS--GOOD PARTICIPATION BY BUSINESS--OUR BUSINESS'S WERE OPEN WHEN PEOPLE WERE IN TOWN

WINTER WONDERLAND--THE SQUARE LOOKED AMAZING ON OPEN HOUSE NIGHT AND ALL THROUGH THE HOLIDAY SEASON--GREAT SMALL GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS

CHRISTMAS WISH---THE TALENT THAT CARTHAGE HAS IS AMAZING--THE COLLEGE WAS ONCE AGAIN HIGHLIGHTED--GREAT FINALE

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS---AGAIN EXTRAORDINARY TALENT FOR ANY SIZE COMMUNITY---GREAT SHOW--GREAT FOOD--GREAT SERVICE---GREAT FUTURE!! KEPT CARTHAGE RESIDENTS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY'S--HAD SOME VERY IMPRESSED OUT-OF TOWN GUESTS

JAVAJAM---CAN YOU SAY ANDY AVERY? UNBELIEVABLE TALENT---GREAT CONCEPT

LOSSES---

CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE--NOTHING---ONLY WE NEEDED MORE FOOD FOR THE MASSES

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS--100% PARTICIPATION IS A MUST IF IT IS GOING TO WORK--NO TRAFFIC ON DAYS WITH NO ACTIVITY--BAD WEATHER--

CARTHAGE CHRISTMAS CASH--NOT SPREAD OUT ENOUGH TO LOCAL EMPLOYEES

WINTER WONDERLAND--NOT ORGANIZED--NOT BALANCED AROUND THE WHOLE SQUARE--NOT ENOUGH SPONSORS--ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY--COULD BE A HUGE DRAW TO THE COMMUNITY DURING THE HOLIDAY'S IF DONE RIGHT.

CHRISTMAS WISH--SAME SHOW HURT THE LOCAL TICKET SALES--BAD WEATHER--COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION--DID NOT GET THE REGIONAL ATTENTION THAT WAS HOPED FOR

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS---NOT A THING OTHER THEN EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE--LAST MINUTE VENUE CHANGE

JAVAJAM--NO PARTICIPATION---COULD HAVE BEEN A REAL ANCHOR FOR THE TWELVE DAYS IF LOCAL CHURCH'S-- SCHOOLS--TALENTED INDIVIDUALS WOULD HAVE PARTICIPATED--MY BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT--7 PEOPLE CAME TO LISTEN TO MACNAMARA'S BAND

OVERALL I FEEL THAT "CHRISTMAS IN CARTHAGE" WAS A VERY WORTHWHILE PROJECT FOR THE RETAIL COMMITTEE--I BELIEVE OTHER COMMUNITIES IN THE TRISTATE AREA WERE ENVIOUS OF OUR ORGANIZED EFFORT--HOWEVER, FOR "CIC" TO BE CONTINUED SUCCESSFULLY ONE THING NEEDS TO HAPPEN---100% PARTICIPATION BY ALL BUSINESS--GOVERNMENT--SERVICE CLUBS--INDIVIDUALS
GOALS FOR 2008 "CIC"
ACTIVITIES BOOKED FOR ALL 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
16 SPONSORS FOR THE "WINTER WONDERLAND" WITH BETTER ACCESS TO ELECTRIC
A COMMUNITY VARIETY SHOW TO REPLACE "THE WISH"
100% PARTICIPATION FOR STORE HOURS
$20000 IN CARTHAGE CHRISTMAS CASH
MORE INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS PROMOTIONS--RESTAURANT SPECIALS--CHRISTMAS CASH SPECIALS--ILLINI WEST SPECIALS..........
A NEW "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY'S" PRODUCTION FOR 2008 THAT CAN BE MARKETED TO THE SENIOR CITIZEN BUS GROUPS TO COME TO "CIC" TO SEE A SHOW LOOK AT THE LIGHTS DO SOME UNIQUE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY--THINK BIGGER THAN LIFE--WE MUST BRING THE PEOPLE IN TO TOWN FROM THE SURROUNDING AREA BY BEING UNIQUE!!!!
ONE LAST MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL AND THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!

ROB
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/21/2008 2:01 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JANUARY 21ST 2008

Hi to all! Sorry I haven't been posting daily as I hoped. Been real busy with a couple of projects that have taken up my typing time. Anyhow I will try to get back in the swing of things soon!

It is January. It is cold. It is a presidential election year. If that isn't bad enough you've got the gloom and doom media and the wannabe presidential candidates telling us all that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. It can be downright depressing! I've got three words for you
GET OVER IT!
Here are the latest and greatest doomsday headlines/political propaganda and the reality check that should make you feel a whole lot better!
SUBPRIME AND HOUSING CRISIS
The truth here is that in the midwest we never experienced a 100% increase in home values during the housing boom so we aren't going to have a 20% decline that is currently happening. Also here in the Midwest we only buy what we can afford and we pay for it! What the heck is subprime anyway other than a bad cut of meat?
HIGH FUEL PRICES
Gas went up around $.30 a gallon last year. If you drove the national average of 15000 miles a year and got 18 MPG you spent approximately $5 more per week for gas. How many $2 bottles of water or premium coffee does it take to add up to $5?
LOSS OF AMERICAN JOBS TO OVERSEES COMPANIES
This one is a little tougher. Hind sight is 20/20 and I am sure that many folks in America that have lost their jobs to foreign competitors might give more consideration to buying American and locally if at all possible. Our local manufacturing are largely agrcultural--You can't dig up farmground and ship it to China!
AMERICA IS IN A RECESSION!
Good! Things needed to slow a bit so the fed can lower interest rates and the fuel commodity prices will come down. Besides, Agriculture and energy or recession proof--even in the worst times people have to eat and use energy---as agriculture transitions to alternative renewable fuel procuction and the windmill plant comes online---we could be in the middle of a boomtown!
It is so easy to get depressed during this cold weather and continuous onslaught of negative presidential campaign hogwash---get over it and know spring is right around the corner and election day is not coming soon enough!
Rob

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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/28/2008 12:23 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JANUARY 28TH 2008

Hi to all!

It was a sad day Friday to learn that Methode Electronics is "restructuring".
There are going to be a lot of families in Carthage and Golden that are going to be impacted by this very troubling news. I am praying for them.

No matter how devastating this news is--as a local retailer we must focus on the positives we have going forward.
1) We have already survived Methode downsizing over 1000 employee's over the past few years
2) Our agricultural economy is the best that it has been in years
3) The campus is locally owned with great plans for the future
4) we will have a fully connected 4 lane highway 1 mile from Carthage
5) we have over 100000 tourist coming to Carthage annually and many more coming with the looking for Lincoln campaign kicking off
6) Keokuk and the tri state region has a huge factory going up in a recession proof wind energy manufacturer of windmills
7)Methode is not closing just restructuring--1 step back--2 steps forward?
8) Hancock County will have a new hospital on the Carthage interchange
9) Illini-West has had a very positive 1st year and is located right in Carthage!

Yes--the Methode restructuring is a setback and a concern--however we cannot let it be the reason for us to not do everything possible to capitalize on all the good things Carthage retail business's have going for them. We must concentrate on the positives and let the negatives take care of themselves!
I am looking forward to a "Great 08"!!! And I will make it happen!
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/28/2008 12:48 PM

Posted by:MattDickinson
Hi, Everyone!

I have to agree with Rob wholeheartedly on this one:  The Methode announcement last week will have significant impact on many local and regional families, and surely there will be a little ripple effect.  We don't want to trivialize that impact to those who are affected.

BUT, you have to remember what else Rob said:  Methode-Carthage is dropping 450 jobs over the coming year.  They've already dropped many more than that over the last few years.  So, with all of the other POSITIVES that we have going for us, I think we'll be able to absorb those losses fairly quickly, and let everyone get back to their normal way of life. 

Finally, just a note about the tremendous response we've had from all over the state to the Methode news.  There will be help for those losing their jobs, and it's getting set up as you read this.  I expect you'll see an entire new forum TOPIC here on line, too.  Keep an eye out for further news as we plan how best to utilize all of the help that is being offered.  No, we can't change the forces of today's global economy, but we can certainly influence our local economy!

Let's keep moving forward!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/29/2008 9:22 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
JANUARY 29TH 2008

HI TO ALL AND THIS IS FOR DAWN FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING

CARTHAGE RETAIL COMMITTEE 2007

A LOOK BACK AND A VISION GOING FORWARD

When I raised my hand with Chris Hale to co-chair the retail committee last year I had one objective. To get the retail business owners in Carthage involved and integrated into the activities of the community. Here are a few of the projects the retail committee implemented this past year to achieve this.
The rearview mirror:
1) Illini West Fan Club--set up a tent and had local business owners set up fans with buttons that give them discounts at local merchants--set up an IlliniWest fan club website.
2) Farmer's market--attempted to involve local merchants in the Farmer's market
3) downtown mapping--ongoing attempt to let current and prospective business's know what properties are available and what their current uses are
4)4th of July celebration--noted that the parade was on a Beautiful day with thousands of people around the square and none of the stores were open.
5)community calendar--having one calendar at www.carthage-il.com that everyone can list their events and depend on others to list their events so their are no conflicts and lots of collaberation
6)Christmas in Carthage--from thanksgiving until Christmas--the biggest month for retail-the Christmas Wish--winter wonderland--christmas open house--home for the holiday's--Java Jam--Carthage Christmas Cash--a huge attempt to keep people shopping at home for the holiday's as well as bringing in tristate area customers for a unique shopping experience. some winners and losers here but overall a successful promotion
7) retail warriors forum on www.carthage-il.com

LOOKING AHEAD WITH THE HEADLIGHTS ON BRIGHT

1) continue to inviite the local retail business to be integrated into the communitees events--i.e.--be open and inviting when people are in town for events
2)continue to work towards making downtown Carthage a destination for tourism
3)build upon the successful activities--4th of july--farmer's market--christmas in Carthage--looking for lincoln waysides--IlliniWest fan club ----
4) look toward new and unique offerings for the members of the retail committee
a)commodities exchange
b)community website shopping cart
c)retail business featured on the chamber page

Chris and I have enjoyed serving as the retail warriors facilitators this past year. Although I will not be chairing this committee this year I pledge to continue to promote and protect the retail business community this coming year.
Let's all have a great 08!



rob
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 1/29/2008 9:47 PM

Posted by:BillPyatt
Rob and others,

While the area churches do not have a direct role in the retail side of Carthage area business, our members do. Just want to thank the retail committee for the good work in promoting the shop local options. The Carthage Area Ministerial Alliance members will have their hands full in the next several months responding to spiritual, emotional and in some cases financial needs of Methode employees, and others who may be impacted by the slow down in the economy. We will certainly remind the people in our "sphere of influence" that shopping local has LOTS of benefits.

Bill Pyatt
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 2/7/2008 10:31 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
february 7th

oldie but a goodie!

After many years of being P.O.'d at local folks for shopping out of town,
I have come to the healthy conclusion that it is not that  people
intentionally buy out of town--they simply don't think about it. That is why
we need to continually educate them on the fact that spending their hard
earned dollar back into the community that they got it from--just makes good
sense--for them! It benefits all of us both individually and as a group to give a concerted effort to make our purchases locally. .
I have gone as far as to list the "The Top Ten Reasons To Buy In
Carthage"---Hey, this would make a great 10 week segment in the Journal
Pilot---hint--hint--each week you could disect one of the 10 reasons--get
interviews--produce figures--really educate us about the REAL benefits of
keeping our hometown $'s home. Do you want to see my top ten?
I knew you did!

10)howdy neighbor!  The local business's you do business with are your
friends, neighbors, church members, club members--if you don't do business
with them they might not be there in your community in the future--that's
sad!

9)It's convenient! There is nothing more convenient than to let your local
business know what you want and let them provide it for you. Simply simple!

8)saves time! refer to #9-- no driving, web surfing, fretting over which
direction to go, just stop in at your local business and let them provide
you their good or service!

7)Saves Gas!--o.k. a trip to Quincy is 70 miles roundtrip-that's 3.5
gallons of gas at 20 mpg or $11.34 just to get there and you haven't bought
a thing!

6)save money--so you've spent $11.34 just to get to wally world now your
really going to save some money! You buy $200 worth of stuff over and above
the $50 worth of stuff you went in for and you save a--let's say 5% over
what you could of bought the $50 for at home. Don't forget the overpriced
hamburgers/fries/drinks you had to buy to con the family to go with you.
Let's do the math---buy what you need at home $50 x .0625 sales tax
==$3.125----- total spent at home $53.13
$50 spent on what you need at 5% discount==$47.50
$47.50 x 7.5% Quincy sales tax =$3.56--$51.06
You've saved a whopping $2.07---or did you? don't forget the $11 in
gas--where and tear on the car--$215 in junk you really didn't need and the
$45 worth of junk food that went right back to your hip pocket and I don't
mean in change!
let's see that little shopping excursion cost you $53.13 in
Carthage and $322.06 in Quincy--hmmmm

5)lower sales tax---Carthage 6.25%--Quincy 7.5%
$100 you spend in Quincy it costs you $1.25
$1000---$11.25
$10000---$112.50
and that money pays for Quincy's roads, parks, sewers,
why should you pay for Quincy's pothole repair?

4)better service---let's face it--when you buy something from wally world
that needs service--you just take it back and get another one right? simple
until you refer to the whole ordeal in #6--another $250 trip. At home your
local business is commited to service after the sale--
if they don't offer good service--how can they face you at school,
church---remember they're your neighbors!

3)lower property taxes for all---did you know that over
1/3 of all the taxes collected in Carthage is from sales tax? (you will
need to get the actual #'s--i'm imbellishing ) That's over $250,000 a year
that would have to come from your property tax if the local business's
weren't there. If everyone made a concerted effort to buy locally the
property taxes could go down!!!

2)It's your future! Carthage is a great place to live, work and play.
Imagine for a moment Carthage with no grocery store, lumber yard, car
dealer, hospital,school,restaurant
those business are there only if you patronize them--if you don't use
them--you will lose them!

drum roll please!!!!.......and the #1 reason to do all your business at
home----

1) WE ALL WIN---Whether your a Dr,--lawyer, teacher, preacher, baker,
homemaker, clerk, soda jerk, or do partime paperwork---you benefit from a
strong business community!! give your local merchants a try before you buy!

Wow--you got me goin! This is just a rough draft of what has been going
through my head for a long time.

check in tomorrow for retail ramblings!
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 2/11/2008 2:20 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
FEBRUARY 11TH

How did the annual meeting go? My youngest had state basketball tourney so I couldn't attend. I did hear John Huston was "citizen of the year" Congrats to John!!!

Now that the annual meeting is in and done and the new board is in place, it is time to hand over the reigns to the retail committee to the new leadership. I hope that I at least got some thoughts started this last year. It is my hope that some of the projects that we envisioned come to be. My promise to you all is to be there both financially and physically for any projects the 2008 retail committee proposes.

I will continue to be a part of this virtual  committee meeting (although it felt like a committee of one-I kind of hogged the posts) if the new leadership finds value in it.

Hope you all have a great 2008!
Rob
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 2/19/2008 2:32 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
tuesday feb 19th

Hi to all,

Just got back from the Chamber board meeting. At this time there is no one stepping up to be the retail chairman for the retail committee. This is disappointing, however is understandable as there are very few retailers that actually sit on the Chamber board. I kind of got on my soapbox about how that if the retail business's are not willing to serve on the committee or participate in the chamber retail promotions, than why should the chamber be concerned about providing retail leadership?
To be honest with you, the only downside to being the Co-chair of the retail committee last year was the lack of participation by a large percentage of the retail business's. For all of you that got on board--thankyou--for those of you that decided to not get involved and just came along for the ride--you hurt yourself and your business. Face it, there was a lot of opportunity for retail business's to be a part of many different promotions and activities that could have and would have enhanced their bottom line this past year but many chose to not participate.
Here is my commitement to you this coming year. Carson Ford, and myself personally, will be involved at every level of any retail promotion the chamber provides in 2008 and if and when one of the retail warriors comes forward to chair the retail committee--I will pledge to be at least involved at the same level of participation as I did last year. If none of the retail warriors comes forward for this position than I must assume that their is no interest and I will stop posting, promoting, begging, and work on making my business the best it can be.
RC
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 2/22/2008 10:45 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
FEBRUARY 22ND

Hi to all!

O.K.---I have heard from a couple of the retail warriors that I got a little harsh at the chamber meeting on Tuesday. I do get a little passionate at times when I truly believe in something--like I do the future of retail business in Carthage Illinois.
For being harsh and to the point I apologize to all--especially to all of you that got involved last year. We really did do some amazing things for a town our size.

I believe Carthage has a tremendous future in the TriState area. The retail merchants are positioned perfectly to take advantage of ALL the population within 45 miles of Carthage. Quincy, Burlington, Macomb, Keokuk, Ft. Madison, Nauvoo, Hamilton, Warsaw, LaHarpe, Rushville, Mt. Sterling ---even Monmouth, Gaylesburg, Hannibal, and all points in between are less than an hour away with the new higway finishing up.  However, they might as well be on the moon if we don't put out a [b]concerted [/b] effort to market "CARTHAGE--IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE" to all these consumers.

I know that marketing regionally works. Carson Ford sells to the entire tristate area by simply asking them to do business with us. We have a good product and we advertise it. In the movie "Field of Dreams" the tag line was "if you build it they will come"--- they should have added one more line--"if you build it--they will come--if you tell them about it"

One cannot happen without the other. We must first build a viable destination in our downtown area with unique shopping, dining, and entertainment and amenities and then tell people of the tristates about it and I guarantee you--GUARANTEE YOU--they WILL come. You cannot shortsheet either side of this equation. You must have a great product and you must have a great marketing program for this to work!

I think we made great progress towards building the product in 2007. However, we must have 100% participation of all the retailers, local government, property owners, and service clubs to finish the job. We need to be open for business, bigger than life in our offerings, and unique in the marketplace--last year's"Christmas open house" is a good example of this.

The marketing is the easy part when you've got a great product to sell. Come see our empty storefronts and closed business's is a lot harder to sell than--"take a walk back in time as you experience Christmas the way you always remember it during Christmas in Carthage's open house"-- Carthage Illinois-"It's a wonderful Life"---see what I mean?

So as I started--I aplogize for being harsh at the Chamber meeting the other day.However, I won't apologize for my passion for trying to make Carthage a better place to work, live, worship and play. I am ready to go to work for 2008.

The chamber is still looking for a chair for the tourism and retail committees. In my opinion, the two most important functions of the 2008 chamber--Please consider offering your leadership to either of these committee's--I have and will in 2008.
RC

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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 3/19/2008 2:56 PM

Posted by:carsnfrd
MARCH 18TH 2008

WE'RE BACK IN BUSINESS!

Thankyou so much to Susan Starr and Jared Murphy for saying yes to the retail warriors for 2008!!!! They are both very dedicated young business people with great ideas and ambition. I for one am thrilled to be working with them this year on continuing to make the retail business environment thrive in Carthage Illinois!

It is my understanding that they hope to have monthly meetings to strategize and implement projects for the coming year. As a retail warrior I am planning to attend and participate to the best of my ability---please try to do the same---it is good for all of us!
Thanks again to Susan and Jared!
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Re: Carthage Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee

By importuser at 5/7/2008 11:27 AM

Posted by:carsnfrd
Hi to all!
I know it has been awhile. Just wanted to let you know that the retail committee is alive and well and working for you.

Totally off the subject but cool! I just figured out how to load video up to youtube.
As a proud dad I would like for you to go to www.youtube.com and type in drummer boy christmas wish and look at some video of the christmas wish. I would like you to do this as a my son is playing but also as a possible business plan.

It is now so easy to use video and you tube as a marketing tool! I have got some ideas that I will be sharing with everybody real soon! I think we can promote Carthage, our local business's and our way of life ---basically for FREE!!!!!!!
Rob
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