Avon Lake

In order to show local businesses they are a vital part of the community, Mayor K.C. Zuber has issued a proclamation naming September “Business Appreciation Month.”

Along with the proclamation, copies of which Zuber will drop off at some businesses and have available at City Hall, there will be two coffee breakfasts at the Lake House, from 7 to 9 a.m. Sept. 1 to kick off the month and again Sept. 30 as a final “thank-you.”

The idea arose from a discussion at a June 1 Economic Development Committee meeting about a “Buy Avon Lake” campaign, Zuber said. Instead of focusing on just “buy local,” which will still be part of the month, he said he and Economic Development Advisory Board Chairman Joe Archacki wanted to broaden the scope.

The two are in talks with local business representatives to see what suggestions they may have for the city. Zuber said he had meetings with Peter & Co. Jewelers and Kopf Builders Friday and had previously met with Tucky’s at Learwood Square.

Though the proclamation, likely followed by a City Council resolution supporting it, and coffee breakfast are all that planned at the moment, Zuber said more will come out of the month as talks with local businesses continue.

“When we first do it, we’ll see things gather momentum,” he said. “People have all kinds of ideas.”

Other communities have more complicated approaches, Archacki said, such as having people carry cards or passports to local stores and restaurants to get signed for a discount.

“We have neither the time nor the personnel to do that sort of thing unless we get an economic development guy or marketing guy for the city,” he said.

Instead, he and the mayor are raising awareness of the month by talking to business owners and the media to encourage people to support their local businesses and write favorable views.

Zuber said he’d like to see the month grow as more businesses get involved in the future. With more time to plan and prepare, he said there are many possibilities for the month. However, for the first Business Appreciation Month, he said he wanted to act now and put something out there.

“We wanted to move forward on it as soon as we could,” he said.

The goal for this is to have businesses eventually take over, Archacki said.

“My goal or dream would be this (first month) would become the catalyst and a group of business people would take it up next year and the city would assist them,” he said.

Councilman at Large and Economic Development Committee Chairman Dan Bucci said he applauded the mayor’s efforts to recognize local businesses.

“I think it’s something we need to do and do more of,” he said. “We need to take even additional steps to demonstrate our willingness to work with local businesses and help them succeed and grow. I’m supportive of the efforts and look forward to working with the mayor and the board to do even more.”

Contact Bryan Wroten at bwroten@2presspapers.com

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