If a visitor in the community asked you where to go and what to do, what would you say? I had the pleasure of attending a networking luncheon last week in Huntsville with Sharon Lovoy of Lovoy’s Team Works, Inc., as the speaker. Something she spoke about really resonated in me.
When visitors are milling around our town asking questions, what is your response? You, reading this article--what is your response?
If you own a business, are you telling people about other businesses and events around town? If visitors ask your employees questions, would they know where to refer them?
Are we projecting a positive or a negative image of our community? We can only increase interest in our area if we too are interested and positive, if not excited, about our little “Boom Town.” After all, who wants to shop, eat or stay at a place where people aren’t happy or excited? Not me. Employees who are happy about where they live and work will naturally paint a positive image of our community. Wow, what a difference that could make. I can hear visitors now, “Have you visited Fort Payne? They are so proud of their area and excited about what they have to offer.”
We may never be a big city, and I’m thankful for that. I chose to live in this area because I love the small town feel and people here. If I want the hustle and bustle of big towns, I can visit them and then come right back home. People in those big cities are visiting us because they want to slow down, and they like it here. Let’s not run our visitors off, as there are plenty of other small towns they can visit and support.
Let’s all look at perceived shortfalls in our area as opportunities to grow. We will grow. Fort Payne Main Street Initiative is working hard to bring fun and exciting things to downtown Fort Payne. The Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Board are working together to bring retail and industry to the Fort Payne area and DeKalb County. And, DeKalb Tourism is doing a fantastic job of promoting our area all over the United States.
So, let’s all commit to focusing on the positive and what our little town has to offer. Follow Fort Payne Events page on Facebook and the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce on Facebook to keep up with some of the goings on around town.
Be Positive. Get Excited. Be the “BOOM” in Boom Town.
— Jennifer McCurdy is director of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce. Her column appears in the Times-Journal on Wednesdays. You can email her through the chamber’s website at fortpaynechamber.com.