Thank you to those who have been supportive the past several months as I brought some different ideas to the table. I have shared philosophies, research and groundwork that can be of future use — should you decide on a path of establishing a business- and resident-focused marketing group. While I am unable to continue in a pro bono role for ESSBA at this time, below is a recap that I hope will spark more ideas and continue to move the organization forward:
1. Identity: The moniker EAST SPRING is a viable brand name for the group and the entire two-mile business zone east of LGB Airport, and plays well with residents. It is easily translated into a logo and onto banners.
2. Mission statement: As written this summer, “The East Spring Street Business Association (ESSBA) serves to connect together business owners and leaders in the Plaza community to develop strategic partnerships and programs, address and solve issues, and promote the commercial businesses along East Spring St. east of Long Beach Airport to neighborhood residents and out-of-town visitors.” We received positive feedback on this new mission statement.
3. Purpose: Please see the linked flyer copy that provides a rationale for why East Spring businesses should work together – http://rantonette.com/bulletinboard/essba-sept2012.htm.
4. Online presence: The Twitter handle @eastspringstlb and the website URL www.eastspringstreetlb.org are in place and can be built upon. In addition, the Facebook page has been updated, but needs some more good photos.
5. Distinct meeting time: Mornings are for business: The other eight business associations in Long Beach meet monthly in the mornings or lunch. East Spring’s own Third Thursday Mornings can grow over time, enabling participation before merchant doors open.
6. Serving residents (especially seniors) who shop your stores: Look to align and build multi-store programs from Councilwoman Schipske’s commitment to emergency preparedness, or other programs that support the East Spring area’s older population.
7. Benefitting East Spring neighborhood groups: Philanthropic programs that impact your neighborhood build loyalty. The 5th district has the most schools, with thousands of families who can benefit from organized, East Spring business support. (Baja Sonora does a great job supporting PTAs.) Partners of Parks also can use East Spring support.
8. Food trucks: East Spring is in position to be a host stop for the 2013 @LunchTruckIt tour; volunteers need to take this on. We also have several neighborhood schools hosting their own food truck fundraising events that could use your further support.
9. Look at Bixby Knolls: Blair Cohn and his paid staff organize terrific events that benefit merchants and neighbors: First Fridays, Bixby Knolls Strollers, Kidical Mass bike rides, Cash Mobs and more. There is much potential surrounding East Spring.
10. Self-funding: A Business Improvement District is possible, but the group needs volunteer support from an East Spring attorney to create the 501(c)(3) paperwork to move this forward.
Please let me know how I might be of support to any of your individual business’ marketing needs moving forward.