Who’s at fault?

Like many of you, I was shocked when I heard Hibbett Sports had shut the doors to our Breckenridge store.  I had gone down for a meeting at Tractor Supply when I heard the news.  Immediately, I went to see what was going on.  The representative from the corporate office informed me they were closing effective immediately.  Immediately???  I started asking questions. What about the employees? Why did we not receive notification?  Ugh! What about the jacket I bought last week that’s too big that I intended to return?

Losing a business and a chamber member is always hard for a community.  It can be an eye opening experience as well.  How often did YOU buy from Hibbett Sports? How often did you instead go to Abilene for what you needed?  Every time we shop out of town, we hurt our local economy.  We, as consumers, are often the reason businesses close.  This was the case for Hibbett Sports.  Corporate told me that they simply did not get enough business in Breckenridge to be profitable. 

I’m not saying all this to step on toes. I’m guilty as well.  I’ve gone to the big box store to buy kids shoes. But, I do try to shop local first. There have been times I didn’t have time to go somewhere else and it was convenient to get what I needed here.  Many, many, times I have been grateful for local businesses who have saved me when I needed something. (My kids are great at telling me they need something last minute).

We had hometown people, people who support community programs, lose their jobs last week.  That makes me sad.  It makes me sad to see another empty building.  It makes me sad that the community passes blame.  Folks, when you see places close down don’t be shocked if you never set foot in there.  A business cannot survive without the financial support of the community.  I know people get tired of chambers saying “Shop Local”, but if we as consumers don’t shop local…there won’t be anything local.

Special thanks to Rob Durham and his crew at Hibbett’s for their support over the past few years. Rob personally paid Hibbett’s chamber membership and was always eager to participate in community events.

Spring Break!!!

There are many different perspectives when it comes to Spring Break.  There’s the “go all out” week-long family trips to somewhere tropical. There’s the “road-trippers” who hop in the vehicle and head out, seeing where to road takes them.  And then there’s the “stay-cationers”. 

Some “Stay-cationers” are in panic mode today.  They have a week off, not sure of plans and facing the daunting task of occupying kids.  (Of course, Mother Nature is making being outdoors a bit of a challenge).  At my house the hubby and I are planning for “us time” because the kids are all gone with spending time extended family & friends.

For those “road-trippers” passing through this week and for the “stay-cationers”…the Chamber is here to help!  From shopping; scheduling painting classes; taking the kids to Party Planet; tours of the museum and art gallery; to a nice couples dinner… we have suggestions!  Call us before you start pulling your hair out! (559-2301). 

SPRING-FLING 2019

Are you ready to get that yard looking better??? Do you need a new spring wardrobe? Spring Décor? If you said “Yes”, then get ready……we are having our first annual SPRING-FLING!!!

I love everything Spring!  Flowers, décor, clothes….I’m a sucker for the florals and pretty bright colors! So, I was really excited the Chamber Board was supportive of this idea! It will be along the same lines as our annual “Mingle Jingle” hosted in November, but we will be focusing on all things Spring!

Breckenridge Chamber businesses have such an amazing assortment of Spring items and we want everyone to #shoplocal! The Chamber will be featuring Spring inventory March 28th from 1-7PM.  As a bonus, at each participating business you visit, you will have the opportunity to enter for a drawing for a Spring Prize Package!  

It may feel like it today, but this cold weather is NOT gonna last forever! Go ahead and mark your calendars for March 28th! Stay tuned for more details, and stay warm for now!

(Bo sent an email to our businesses, but if you missed it and want to participate, call one of us before Thursday to be added to the list!)

Frontier Days & Centennial Celebration

The Stephens County Frontier Days are right around the corner!  May 3rd & 4th are lining up to be 2 days packed with activities for all ages!  Chuckwagon Cook-offs, Carnival rides, 42 tournaments, Breck Idol, Kids Got Talent and the Car show are just a few of the events planned.  Stay tuned to the chamber website for a full schedule and updates!

Also, this year marks the Centennial Celebration for the City of Breckenridge!  To recognize this milestone, the City has partnered with Frontier Days and will be hosting a FREE concert. Blues artist, Michael Lee will be performing on Saturday night from 8-11pm.  Lee appeared on the TV show “The Voice” in 2018 and is currently touring with the BB King Band. 

Mark your calendars for May 3rd & 4th and plan to join in the fun!

Valentine’s Day is almost here!

I’ve heard many people say Valentine’s Days is a holiday you either love or hate.  Well, I love it! Of course, I love being spoiled and getting things, but I also love doing things to remind my husband that he is “My Valentine”.   Ladies, it’s not just a woman’s holiday anymore.  There are so many creative ideas for men too!

Before I go any further I have to make a confession.  As much as I love celebrating one another on Valentine’s, I am one who has been known to say, “don’t just buy me flowers because it’s a special occasion”.  I think we should celebrate those we love all year long by sending flowers, buying cards and gifts and doing special things for no occasion.  Getting something for no reason at all is always special to me.  I know Brian likes it when I surprise him as well!

With that said, you still better make plans for Valentine’s Day! Man or woman, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like “feeling the love” and your Breckenridge Chamber businesses have you covered! From masculine tools, to chocolates, beautiful bouquets of flowers, dinner, and gift certificates, we can help you treat your Valentine special.  Call the chamber if you are having trouble finding the perfect gift. I don’t want anyone to have to sleep in the doghouse Thursday night! Happy Valentine’s Week!

Annual Awards Ceremony

This week is an exciting week for the Chamber! Thursday is the Chamber’s Annual Awards Ceremony. We will have Carolina Witcher, Marketing Director for Chick-fil-A Abilene (South Clack location) as our guest speaker. Of course, I LOVE their food, but I have always admired Chick-fil-A for their dedication to customer service. I’m looking forward to hearing first-hand how they DOMINATE the industry in customer satisfaction.

In addition to a great speaker, we are going to have a great meal, catered by The Rusty Rooster. The menu includes green chili chicken enchiladas, beef enchiladas, Mexican rice, charro beans, Mexican street corn, chips with fire-roasted tomato salsa, and Texas sheet cake for desert.  YUM! The chamber received several bids for amazing meals.  Not awarding bids is one of hardest things for the Chamber Board to have to do, especially when the quality of the bids were all top-notch. We appreciate the Rusty Rooster and all the businesses who submitted bids.

Another challenging task the Chamber Board faces is selecting recipients for Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year, and Ag Citizen of the year.  Breckenridge is filled with so many amazing, well-deserving people.  Narrowing nominations down to one recipient is hard, and not taken lightly. Please remember if you nominate someone and they are not the winner this year, nominate them again next year!

We have a few seats left for Thursday night.  If you didn’t get your RSVP in by the deadline, you have one last chance (first come, first serve). I encourage our members to attend this event. (Actually, I want our members to attend as many chamber events as possible!  We work hard to make events informative and enjoyable. Use these opportunities to enhance your public profile, network with other professionals, and get helpful tips for business development!)

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at The First United Methodist Church on Thursday at 6 pm!

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Have you ever been on vacation and ready to stop and eat for lunch but end up passing restaurant after restaurant because you didn’t recognize them? I certainty have! I have looked at the building as we drove by and said, “I’m not eating there”!  Chipped paint… tall grass… if it doesn’t look clean, I don’t want to stop.  My dad however, looks for the “hidden treasures”. He doesn’t want to stop at a box name. But, there have been several times when traveling with him we have stopped (against my judgement) and I’ve ended up eating the most amazing meals.  I tell you this to make two points: 

  1. As a business owner, make a good first impression!  They say people eat with their eyes and I think it begins when you see the building. Take time to beautify. If your exterior is run down, people will assume the interior is as well. Be welcoming, be clean, and be appealing!!!
  2. As a consumer, remember you can’t always judge a book by its cover. A faded sign says the place has been in business a while. So they must be doing something right. I have eaten at a few places that the exterior was not impressive but walked in to be “wowed” by the atmosphere and the food. 

 Look for the inner beauty! And happy dining!

What kind of consumer are you?

The past few weeks I have been posting tips for our local business owners. Today I am changing it up a bit. Today, I want to know, “What kind of consumer are you?”

Do you support local businesses?  Often we SAY we support local, but we don’t BUY local.  Supporting local means spending money and actually doing business with local businesses. So often we fuss when we see a business shut their doors, yet we haven’t walked through those doors in months.

When you need something do you give local stores a chance? Do you assume they don’t have what you need and look elsewhere? There have been several times I have needed something last minute and had a local business come to my rescue.

Personally, I like shopping local for several reasons.  First, it’s convenient. I can run by and grab what I need and without long lines, or waiting on delivery.  Second, I LOVE the customer service of local business.  I love that business owners know me and whether we admit it or not, we all love personal attention.  Yes, shopping local boost our economy, but it’s so much more than that.  I trust local business.  I trust the quality of merchandise and service.

As a consumer, do you really support local? My challenge for you is to take time this week to stop by at least one local business that you haven’t been in during the past 3 months. You will be glad you did!

Lion vs. Gazelle

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up, and knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. The moral…. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up–YOU HAD BETTER BE RUNNING!
Stay motivated members! Run with endurance the race set before you!

Our plan for 2019

Last week I shared business tips for our members as they planned for the new year.  Today I want to share a few of the chambers plans for the new year.

First, the chamber wants to keep you connected! We will have the first networking event (Coffee & Connections) tomorrow (Jan.8th) at 8 a.m. at Coffee State Farm.  I encourage our members to take advantage of this opportunity.  It’s a great way to share what you have going on, hear from colleagues, and meet other members.

The chamber will also work this year on providing more resources to our members. I am posting blogs to the Chamber website and posting on Facebook in hopes of keeping you current and motivated.  Please, send replies! Let me know which type articles and tips you like and/or issues you would like me to address.  I am here to help you!

So is our office manager, Bo Asher!  He does an amazing job of posting information for our members.  We want to promote your business as much as possible! Be sure when you post to Facebook you tag the Chamber so we can share. You can also email event details to the chamber so they can be added to the website and our marquee display.

From the many referrals we make, to the events we host, we want you to see results of the Chamber working for our members this year.  Stay tuned for more of what’s to come in 2019!