NA 1st: Independent business owners in New Albany, please take note.


The steering committee of NA 1st has been meeting at intervals since last November, slowly assembling the plans that are described here. Some business people have expressed concern with this approach, but it’s my view that in a city brimming over with grandiose plans that seldom are seen through to fruition, it’s a better policy to build a foundation before fixing sights on shingling the roof … and also better to refrain from the press conference until there’s something to discuss.

Are you involved in any way with an independently-owned local business workign within the city limits of New Albany? Contact Andy, and the pieces of the project can begin coming together.

Misson Statement: New Albany First! is a non-profit organization dedicated to the task of supporting locally owned independent businesses in New Albany. Primarily, education of and engaging the public, working with like-minded organizations and partnering with locally owned independent businesses will help us reach a goal of creating a stronger, better New Albany both in terms of economic stability and sustainability.

Program of Work

Buy Local Program … An effort to raise awareness among the public to the benefits of buying at locally owned businesses. While there are many possibilities within the vague scope of buy local, programs being discussed include discount cards for locally owned businesses, “Buy Local” weeks, having a community presence with booths at local events. There are other ideas that can and will be discussed as we move forward.

Mentoring programs … It will be the stated goal of NA 1st to offer a mentoring program for new and prospective local business owners by pairing them with current, successful business owners. Too often, we’ve seen people with great ideas for a business become overwhelmed with the reality of small business ownership and watch the doors close after a short amount of time. This creates an atmosphere of “it can’t be done here” in the city. We have to put a stop to that and, we believe, that this is a way we can help. We will have a group of business owners ready to act as a consultant, of sorts, to these new business owners, to give guidance even before they look for funding for their business to make sure that they are truly ready to open. It is our belief that this will help stop this cycle of open/close that we see too much of in New Albany.

Speakers/Seminars … Another important outreach vehicle will be to bring in experts on different facets of the importance of buying locally. Our goal would be to have at least 3 seminars in New Albany every year focusing on different issues. One seminar, that has been successful in other areas, would be for serving staff and customer service staff on the important role they play as “the face of New Albany” to their customers. Oftentimes, these staff members are the first people that visitors to our town speak to, so their role is very important. Other seminars can include successful buy local campaigns, the importance of buying locally, bringing in experts in the field, etc.

Working with other, established groups in New Albany … NA 1st looks to take a holistic, community-wide approach towards its goals. To that end, we look forward to working and partnering with the City of New Albany, Develop New Albany, Urban Enterprise Association, Downtown Merchants Association, the Small Business Development Center and other groups to help promote New Albany as a destination for shopping, eating and relaxing.

For more information, please contact Andy Terrell here (or contact Roger through the usual channels).