http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/30/3113851/colleyville-says-thanks-to-businesses.html BY STEVE NORDER SNORDER@COLLEYVILLETEXASCOURIER
COLLEYVILLE - Economic development - most often translated as attracting businesses to the city and retaining the ones already here - is at the top of Colleyville's to-do list.
City officials offer studies to business prospects on the number of people within a 17-minute drive of Colleyville Boulevard and Main Street - 254,000 people. They have provided SCORE consultants with a City Hall office, so they can offer free business planning advice. On May 16, the city sponsored a business appreciation evening at the Colleyville Center, to say thank you to local business owners.
Marty Wieder, the director of economic development, likes to repeat, what he calls a "truth," he heard many years ago to explain his attitude toward business. "Businesses will locate where they can profit, but they will stay where they're wanted."
To that end, Wieder, along with his marketing coordinator, Ashley Stathatos, are continually working on ways to help the local merchants become more competitive. They have dropped the former campaign slogan of Keep It Colleyville as being too close to phrases used by nearby cities. The new slogan is Colleyville. Close Buy. The words are accommodated by a stylized graphic of a purse with a heart on it and a fork and a spoon on either side.
"What I like about it is that not only does it point out the shopping portion, but the dining," Wieder told the City Council at an April presentation.
More than 80 merchants attended the second-annual appreciation event.
"It is most important for us to say thanks to local businesses," Wieder said.
Mayor David Kelly welcomed the participants. "We depend on our businesses," he told them. "You are a major part of our community."
Booths, most representing the city departments, were set up. Kelly noted that the city can offer a sophisticated mapping system to help someone locate the perfect site for a store, or provide a retailer with a security check by a police officer. Both services are free.
Stathatos showed a new web-based service the city is developing in conjunction with the national web company, Chamber Nation. "It is designed to help drive consumers into Colleyville businesses," she said, adding that it will be at no cost to the merchants.
The system will allow retailers, restaurant or other business owner to have a website presence, Stathatos said. "You can create your own website or a profile page or link to an existing website," she said. "You can upload videos, pictures, slide shows or link to your Facebook or Linkedin pages. All of that can be seen through this website."
Merchants can also create discount coupons, she said. And they would be able to sell directly to customers off of the website.
Stathatos said that using the platform is easy. "If you can drag something from one place to another [on a computer screen], that's all you need to know to do it," she said. "Literally, it takes two minutes to figure it out how to use it."
Wieder said Stathatos will review each page before the public sees it. "We want to be assured that we don't have businesses in neighboring cities that want to get close to this and tag onto it," he told City Council members at an earlier briefing. "This is strictly Colleyville."
As of last week, Stathatos has not signed up the minimum of 40 local businesses to take the new site public, though she is continuing to sign them up. The idea, Wieder said, is to have enough businesses on the site to make it worthwhile for people to use it.
Although the merchant is not charged for having a presence on the website, the city pays $350 per month for the service from Chamber Nation, Stathatos said. While Chamber Nation is not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it is connected to the Green Business Chamber of Commerce, a cooperative service of local chambers that promote green business practices, according to its website.
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/30/3113851/colleyville-says-thanks-to-businesses.html#ixzz1OLLwLydd
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