GWBA plans more community involvement

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By David Meade

During their January meeting Tuesday, Greater Williamston Business Association (GWBA) members discussed a business alert system, plans for a membership drive as well as Main St. Williamston and other programs.

Following up on a topic brought up at a previous meeting, Captain Kevin Marsee of the Williamston Police Department presented information on a crime watch type program that local businesses could participate in.

Capt. Marsee said that social media and technological advances allow law enforcement today to have more ways to communicate and to get the word out.

“The key to law enforcement is communication,” Capt. Marsee told the group. He said that cell phones, text, email and social media allow the local police department to have many more eyes and ears in the community.

He told the group about a company cal Nixle which provides innovative technology for pubilc safety, government and commercial sectors.

The technology uses real time messaging for public alerting and private messaging.

Following a vote to move forward on the project, the group asked Captain Marsee to see if the Williamston Police Department could help set up the free program.

President Chris Trotter reported the following event chair positions for the GWBA for 2014:

Membership – Robin Tucker; Easter Egg Hunt – Kellie Bowman; Party in the Park – Chris Trotter; Golf Tournament – Faye Meares; Christmas Party – Tammy Pitt.

Trotter said the GWBA had a great year in 2013 and that if members will get involved, the group “could do so much more.”

Mike Simpson challenged GWBA members to be more active in the community.

The GWBA ended the year with 65 members. The group is renewing members and beginning a membership drive that will run through March 31.Three new members joined in January.

Robin Tucker said that the membership committee will be proactive in membership recruiting and visiting.

The group unanimously approved recruiting incentives of gift cards at a chain restaurant for members recruiting one or more new members.

2014 membership applications and invite cards will be available as part of a membership package being put together for the organization. New window decals are also being ordered.

The group agreed to allow H&R Block to do the organizational tax returns.

Teri Gilstrap, of Anderson County Economic Development reported that a planning and information meeting is being planned to provide information on various topics that will be of interest to business and property owners. The meeting will be held in February or March and additional information on what will be covered will be announced, she said.

Main St. Williamston Executive Director Caroline Alex gave a brief update on the Main St. program.

The town and GWBA hosted a lunch with the Main St. SC architect last week. Alex said approximately 30 people attended the meeting.

The architect viewed the town and according to Alex, identified three strong nodes that could be considered including the West Main (Fiesta) area, downtown (East Main) and Tolly’s/Subway.

Alex said that some services including what to do with a business facade could be obtained with the architect as part of the Main St. program.

Additional information on the GWBA can be found at their website at www.gwba.info.