Feb. 21, 2013

Paisley & District Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Feb. 21, 2013 at 7pm

Paisley Legion

In attendance: Sandra Blodgett, Jennifer Harris, Max Johnston, Bob Cottrill, Karen Kimple, Mary-Gail Johnston

Bob Cottrill opened the meeting by sharing his concern that the Arran-Elderslie newsletter contained very little news about Paisley or Tara and was almost entirely about what is happening in Chesley. Is this an oversight on our part? It was decided that we would once again contact the appropriate person to be sure more info. is sent to them. We will put it on the agenda to revise the booklet prior to that visit.

Jenn Harris referred to an issue whereby one businessperson from Paisley was prevented from booking and paying for the use of the upstairs room of the Paisley arena just in case that space was needed by another business person who had not booked or paid for the space. Bob Cottrill said he would bring it to council’s attention but no definite timeline was established.

Karen Kimple informed us about the 2013 Maple Syrup Fest Paisley Passport. Many merchants will be open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24. This year’s passport will only require 4 stamps from participating merchants in order to be eligible for the draw. There will be as many draws as participating merchants, a single prize being awarded for each draw. Participating merchants will contribute $25 and a $25 prize.

A motion was tabled by Sandra Blodgett and seconded by Karen Kimpel that the Chamber not pay for an ad in the upcoming Paisley section of the Owen Sound Sun Times.

Max Johnston led us through in an exercise which tested our ability to identify the municipalities to which a number of “brands” belonged. These municipalities were within 1.5 hr. drive from Paisley and were ones with which we were familiar. Our ability to correctly identify the communities correctly, correlated with the brand being based on something tangible as opposed to an idea or emotion. eg. Meaford- The Other Big Apple

LISTENING TO OUR AUDIENCE: We reviewed and listed all of the e-mail comments related to the Village of Paisley Facebook requests concerning this branding issue. We wrote down EVERY comment.  Jenn Harris then led us through the exercise of choosing the  tangible assets from the list. Many people think of Paisley as HOME and a place that they share with FAMILY and we would consider using that however, already the umbrella over Bruce county is the thought of creating a natural playground for families, so that is covered. In Bruce County, there are 17 communities. Bruce County is trying to tell visitors to Bruce County what is special about Paisley compared to other places in the County. Jack Van Dorp  described it as Bruce County as the Disney World and each community being the like each of the Disney communities. So hopefully this helps everyone understand better what we are trying to acheive. And WHY are we doing this at all? If we do this for Bruce County, Then we will be able to get money from them to Spruce up our community. We can get money for our signs and benches and store fronts and such things. Every business in the downtown core can benefit from this whether or not they are considered an anchor business for the theme.

Next, we identified the activities that are a result of  having the rivers in our village. We came up with the following list: fishing (bass, trout, muskie, fly fishing) paddling (canoe, kayak), walking, cycling, or running on the riverside trails, birding, photography, painting, sketching, writing.

We then did the same thing using the brand “heritage”.  This list of related activities included: photography, sketching, painting, geneology, historical research, taking a historical walking tour, attending the Heritage Steam Show, Doors Open or the Maple Syrup Festival.

ROI: We then discussed which of the above mentioned  “brands” would be more economically feasible and it was decided that there would be far less cost involved with promoting the rivers as much of the necessary signage, docks and promotional print material is already in place. There is already a canoe/kayak outfitter who provides the necessary boats and paddling gear as well as shuttles for renters and private boat owners and fishermen. The river –related activates are already taking place. There is already a campground and festivals right beside on the river.

The required renovations and upkeep of our heritage properties while very desirable and important. It is expensive and involves convincing several property owners that it is worthwhile, and will take a long time. Heritage is very much a part of Paisley and we feel that it should be an important sub brand and worthy of our attention and efforts. Heritage will not be something that Paisley will ever abandon because we have too many valuable heritage locations.

Karen suggested that if we should make the rivers the object of our brand, we should also commit to an ongoing project which would assess the condition of our rivers and work toward improving their quality. This is a wonderful opportunity to also acknowlege the “green” theme that Paisley is well known for.

We then identified the Anchor Businesses (those who would benefit first from each brand).

Anchor Businesses for the “Rivers” brand would include: canoe& kayak outfitters, Bed & Breakfasts, restaurants, grocery stores, liquor store, gas stations,

Anchor Business for the “Heritage” brand might include: the museum, restaurants, gas stations, all retailers.

Jenn then pointed out to us some advertising in a paddling magazine as examples which we might consider if we were to choose rivers as our brand. She also informed us that June 10-16 is national paddling week.(nationalpaddlingweek.ca) It would be a great way to get people to the village early in the summer. It would also be a great way to entice families to the village.

A discussion was then held around the idea of having several small-scale river- related happenings regularly throughout the season rather than one big river festival.  (Such as street dances on water street) Ideas were put forth but no exact events or dates with the exception of the North Canoe weekend scheduled for June 8, 2013.

Terms which popped up tonight and worthy of remembering are “flow” and “at your own pace”.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 with the next meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 7 th. at 7pm.