Published On: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014

Chamber of Commerce to announce date for open meeting seeking feedback from New Hope business owners

new hope free press chamber of commerceOn July 18, amid revelations about financial problems at the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, officials there declared that, “Within the week, we will announce a date for a community meeting at which all greater New Hope businesses, whether chamber members or not, can come ask questions and state their opinions about how the chamber can serve the community. This will be the first of a regular series of open meetings.”

Sources close to the situation say that an announcement is now imminent, and the first meeting has been scheduled for late August.

Reaction from New Hope business owners to the upcoming meeting was varied, with most unaware of the potential gathering, but interested in attending.

Asked if she would go to the meeting and what was on the top of her wish list, Ginnie Burke, owner of women’s apparel shop Ginnie Burke Collections at 9 N. Main St., said, “I’ll definitely go. I’d like to see a blanket marketing campaign for New Hope.”

Top Notch Accessories owner Ellie Hinton at 15 N. Main St. said she would attend, and that her priority for the chamber was “more events.”

Herb Millman, co-owner of Cockamamie’s Art Deco emporium at 13 N. Main St. said, “Will I be going? Absolutely. I have numerous suggestions on what can be done to promote the business community. Having served as chamber president for four years, I’m very much looking forward to this meeting.”

Millman also said that North Main Street businesses aren’t waiting around for the chamber to bolster their prospects. “Due to the chamber’s lack of business community promotion, the shops of North Main Street have taken it upon themselves to create an event to promote our businesses over the Labor Day weekend holiday.”

The Friday, Aug. 29 end-of-summer celebration features nearly a dozen well-known retailers, along with live music, artists at work, and free refreshments.

“We are approaching mid-August, and we need to salvage the rest of the summer, and kick off a town-wide publicity program for the fall,” continued Millman. “We need this meeting ASAP.”

Other merchants were not as keen on attending the anticipated business community get-together.

Jim Miscisin, owner of Affordable Art and Sugar Daddys in the Four Seasons Mall on South Main Street said, “No, I’m not going. If I were, I would tell them to get serious bucks together and advertise the town.”

Joel Roberts of Mechanic Street Mugs at 10 W. Mechanic Street said, “No, I will not be attending, and won’t be until the chamber of commerce does something to figure out the demographics of our visitors and why they come here — not just providing them with free entertainment and events to raise money from them that might be spent on our businesses.”

Long-time resident and owner of Mystikal Tymes Eric Lee at 127 S. Main St. said, “I’m not going; I’m too busy with the store and with life. I served on the chamber board for three years — once appointed and twice elected. What I want from the chamber can be summed up in one word: ‘inclusiveness.’ The chamber needs to be for all the businesses of New Hope.”

Other merchants who said they would attend had very specific suggestions they plan on bringing to the meeting.

Co-owner Linda Sghiatti of Bucks County Clusters Caramel Corn at 87 South Main St. said, “On events, I’d like to see fewer vendors that compete with local merchants. And put the events back on downtown streets.”

New Hope Apparel Company Co-Owner Dave Burschlag at 40 S. Main St. said, “I’d like to see more to beautify the town for Christmas.”

Longtime chamber member and former board member Fred Eisen of Fred Eisen’s Leather Design at 129 S. Main Street said, “Yes, I’m going. I think the chamber works very hard to bring people to New Hope, and they do a good job. What we need is more volunteers to help.”

 

 

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  1. sheckypoint@gmail.com' Ed Franklin says:

    well said, time for the chamber to get a sense of urgency, they’ve blown the summer dragging their feet, now trying to stall the community meeting…SOS

  2. info@wespeakantique.com' T.D.M. says:

    I have been waiting with baited breath for the Chamber of Commerce’s big town wide meeting to discuss positive improvements that could be made to benefit the New Hope business community announced July 18th. There are several things I would like to see.

    High on my list is my hope that the Chamber will hire a TRULY qualified professional Public Relations / Marketing professional and grant writer.
    A fairly paid employee with a strong understanding of both Tourism and Media relations would be refreshing.

    Every time a press release is issued By the Chamber, an immediate email should be sent to all members so we can utilize the info profitably. I strongly would like to see an accurate survey taken of the visitor / customer Demographics our business’s require and contrast it to the ones our town currently draw. A better balance of high end retail, general consumer goods, ice cream, B&B, craft / artisan and restaurant marketing portfolio approach instead of the current blind and unprofitable course.

    For my company, I am very comfortable with my market penetration locally and would strongly prefer the Chamber reach much further out to potential customers in Staten Island, NYC etc. Narrow targets like Princeton and Delaware are very important as well. New Hope is not Disney Land, think romantic and historical get away not Sea-world. An immediate influx of real buyers, instead of a low ROI body count. A real marketing plan does not drag vegans to a steakhouse.

    I look forward to the long promised street Captain plan being implemented and also hope to see a responsible liaison position created to mediate between town public works and business . IE street closure and lighting outages reporting and speedy remedy.

    The proposed new by laws that narrowly outline goals and responsibilities as well as prohibit Chamber funds to be used unwisely (social charities and cocktail parties) are refreshing.

    As I expect more from the Chamber now, I rightfully expect the membership cost to rise. Currently the member fee is way lower than most similar chambers. A hoped for professional organization is worth more to me than current dues.

    I would strongly hope the new revitalized Chamber will take an exceptionally public position against the general slush fund aka Business Privilege Tax.

    Further I would like to see a permanent position created as retail liaison between retail and Borough Council. The Chamber has been a rubber stamp for Town Council way too Long.
    Christmas Season free parking should be a no brainer. Most New Hope business’ are non residents and cannot vote.
    No taxation without representation comes to mind.

    Fireworks, I would prefer them to permanently end but if you must then make them less frequent and on Sundays. I never had ANY, problems getting REAL buyers on Fridays until fireworks were instituted.

    Immediately end the POLITICALLY motivated Rev It Down campaign. It kills town reputation and costs us all.

    TDM
    TearDrop Memories
    New Hope PA.

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