New organization hopes to address concerns, build community
Indian Trail businesses want better communication. For a town stretching several miles with more than 33,000 residents, there’s no one place businesses can go for information, support or help in developing a marketing strategy.
“Indian Trail covers a lot of square miles and everybody’s spread out,” Indian Trail council member Darlene Luther said. “There’s not a network for business owners.”
Luther and fellow council member Robert Allen came up with the idea for the Indian Trail Business Association last year, seeing it as one point of contact where businesses could ask questions, get answers or help with anything from revising a business model to talking marketing strategy. While the Union County Chamber of Commerce and Union County Partnership for Progress can help with some of those things, Luther said, their focus is wider and broader, whereas the Business Association will be something just dealing with Indian Trail companies.
“We go out and hear business owners say they can’t hang banners, do this or do that, even though we changed a lot of those rules six to eight months ago,” Luther said. “Nobody told them. There’s no one point of contact, to inform business owners about these things.”
The association, which will hold its first meeting July 14 at Bonfire Grill, will also partner with South Piedmont Community College. South Piedmont’s team will provide assistance to any company who want to revise their business plan or develop a new marketing strategy.
The Business Association will also serve as a way to help make it easier for customers to find local shops, Luther said, as a way of keeping dollars in Indian Trail stores.
“When you look in the phone book or search online, it’s hard to tell if something’s in Indian Trail,” Luther said. “We have businesses with Matthews addresses, we have company addresses in Monroe and some in Stallings. When things become too difficult for a consumer, they usually just give up on shopping local and go with what’s familiar.”
The meeting at Bonfire will also focus on a needs assessment, determining what needs local businesses have that the association can address. At the same time, Luther said this first meeting isn’t about recruiting businesses to join the association, but rather gathering information.
“It’s an information session, we’re just asking businesses to come out and learn more,” Luther said. “This isn’t about joining anything, it’s about getting more information, to determine how we can better help businesses succeed in town.”
The first meeting of the Indian Trail Business Association will be held Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m., in the private meeting room at Bonfire Bar and Grill, 6751 Old Monroe Road.