By Paul Bousquet
Special To The Standard
Larry Perry, chairman of the Village Business Alliance (VBA), an element of the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce, convened a meeting of nearly two-dozen businesses last Thursday at the Blue Horse Inn in Woodstock. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss summer plans and cooperative advertising potential.
Mary MacVey and Joby Thompson were invited to give an overview of Sustainable Woodstock’s East End Development Action Group’s Riverfront Park plan. By relocating the snow dump from the east end of town known as the “jungle” to a new site, the area can then be transformed into an attractive community riverside park. This, in turn, would enhance prospects for private investments in adjacent properties. In addition to beautification, private investments in the east end of town would generate a broader tax base. Members were reminded that a video is available to view on the Vermont Standard’s website, thevermontstandard.com.- view video
VBA members universally endorsed the idea of Sustainable Woodstock in transforming an eyesore into a beautiful park beside the Ottauquechee River for all to enjoy.
Perry reviewed the four elements of the VBA effort last year including the hanging flower baskets, Downtown Saturday Nights, the Buy Local nights and the $1,000 shopping spree, and cooperative advertising. The financial input from VBA members together with the generous contribution of $1,500 from the Woodstock Garden Club that enabled VBA to purchase the hanging baskets, the Village beautification effort gained the attention of both residents and visitors. Together with the fine work of the Woodstock Garden Club, the attractively painted trash barrels and clean-up effort of Susan Morgan, the Village looked more beautiful last summer. Each of the VBA members present agreed to contribute $250 to continue these projects. This enables VBA to proceed with having WUHS students start growing plants for the flower baskets in its greenhouse.
Enthusiasm through group dynamics evoked a series of ideas to promote Woodstock businesses by piggy-backing with ongoing events such as the Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Apple & Crafts Festival, and Wassail weekend as well as community events that take place in adjacent towns..
As a rising tide lifts all boats, so too will the collective effort of the VBA have a positive affect upon the business community of Woodstock. The VBA encourages and welcomes all businesses to join with them in helping attract more business.
For more information, call the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce at 802-457-3555.
By Paul Bousquet