Minutes of the April 25, 2017 Paisley & District Chamber of Commerce Meeting
Venue: Paisley Legion Time: 7:30 pm
In attendance: Joanne Kelly, Dale Buhr, Mary- Gail Johnston, Valerie Noel, Allyson Nagle, Alicia Gibbons, Joyce Craddock, Erica MacNamara, Sarah Pedersen, Karen Kimpel, Dale Steinhoff, Sheryl Steinhoff, Melissa Kanmacher, Jen Harris, Paul Crysler, Frank Wells
All were welcomed by chamber president, Mary-Gail Johnston. It was wonderful to see so many new faces in the room.
Max Johnston of the Paisley Events Association presented their new promotional booklet to the group. It was produced to promote the association’s river based events: Ride the Rivers (June 17) ,Paisley Bass Derby(July 7,8,9) and Artists on the River (July 15). It is chock full of gorgeous pictures of Paisley and the rivers as well as ads for several Paisley businesses.
Max also explained that the Paisley Blues Festival is now a registered charity on its own and completely separate from the other events. This was largely made possible by the offering of free, first class Blues workshops for youth run by well known, award-winning Blues artists. All proceeds from the 2017 Paisley Blues Festival will be donated to the Paisley Central School Preservation organization. Information about the Blues Festival can be found at paisleyrocks.com
Melissa Kanmacher updated the group on plans to date for a Father’s Day weekend breakfast on Saturday, June17 at the Legion followed by a community garage and sidewalk sale. The cost of radio advertising is being investigated.
She also made the group aware of the Saugie,our mascot, costume that is currently being made to be worn at various Paisley and area events. Saugie will be handing out promotional information for upcoming special events and Paisley businesses.
This year, the Chamber of Commerce is pairing up with Paisley Events Association to sponsor and run the Fun with Saugie children’s portion of Artists on the River. A Saugie photo op board will be placed in the centre of the village for visitors and residents to have their pictures taken as if they were our founding fathers, Samuel Rowe and Simon Orchard being welcomed by Saugie, our friendly river creature.
Melissa also introduced us to a new website called Coupon Country where businesses in the Bruce, Grey, and Huron County area can create free online coupons to introduce people to their business.
Potential customers just print them off and take them along when the visit the business.
Mary-Gail and Melissa then updated us on the plans for the Sat. April 29th Appreciation and Celebration Night for members of the Save Paisley Central School team who had worked so diligently since Sept. to convince the trustees to keep our school open. The time for the event will be 7- 12 pm. The Shed Shakers band will be playing and food will be provided by Paisley Freshmart. Baking is being donated by Mickey Majury, Kathy Wagler and the two Paisley Mary Cottrills. There will be a donation jar set out to help cover the cost of the evening. Name stickers will be provided for the “team members” so others know who to thank. Posters advertising the event will be displayed around town. It is also on Face book , the village website, and in the April issue of the Advocate.
Sheryl also agreed to put up posters for the upcoming Friday,May 19 ( 6:30-8pm) and Sat. May 20( 9am-1pm) perennial plant sale being held at the Treasure Chest Museum by the Paisley Beautification Committee.
The group was made aware of Tourist Town which links websites for many of the Bruce County towns, Bruce Power and Bruce County Tourism. It is offered at no cost to the towns as the cost is covered by the individual businesses who purchase feature ads on the websites at $20/ month. Karen Kimpel is creating the template for the Paisley website.
A brief discussion was then held regarding an upcoming Spruce the Bruce meeting to be held at the Community Centre on May 30 at 6 pm. Mary-Gail then provided the group with a brief synopsis of what had been accomplished with Spruce the Bruce in the past 5 years. The hope is that we can find a way to combine the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, the Spruce the Bruce committee and those residents interested in participating in the Grow Paisley concept.
Jen Harris presented a bold new fundraising idea to raise community spirit as well as dollars needed for the future repair of the school and property. Her idea is to sell tickets to raffle off a new Paisley Dream Home. This would create much “buzz” about Paisley. We would need to sell 5000 tickets @ $165 each to cover the cost of a $250 000 home. Local skilled volunteers and trades could possibly produce a higher valued house for less.
Some of the possible pitfalls of such an approach to fundraising were then put forth and discussed. It is hoped that the target amount for fundraising will be determined in the upcoming months by the Bluewater Board of Education. Much groundwork will be needed by the newly formed Paisley Central School Preservation organization before fundraising begins.
There are contractors who are willing to help with the school repairs at a greatly reduced cost.
Knowledge of the availability of building lots other than those owned by Kesselbrink is essential. More available homes in Paisley is an absolute necessity.
A grant has been applied for by the Municipality of Arran Elderslie which if received, could help fund the hiring of an Economic Development officer. Dale and Sheryl have a contact with somebody from the Saugeen Business Development who would work with us to try to stimulate business in Paisley. Belinda Graham the head of Economic Development in Minto is another excellent resource for ideas to boost business. This could tie in with local business opportunities and improving the appearance of our downtown business area by possibly reducing the number of vacant storefronts. An inventory of vacant commercial space available for rent or sale in the village is needed.
Make “Grow Paisley’ the theme of the 2017 Christmas parade. Light up the town hall windows with LED lights.
Overall, there is a definite feeling of optimism brewing in Paisley and we all need to do our part to fan the fire.
Next Chamber of Commerce meeting is Tuesday, May 23 at 7:30 pm at the Legion.