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Tri-Cities Better Buzz initiative kicking off
by Nneka Okona
October 16, 2012 11:05 AM | 1373 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cities of Hapeville, College Park and East Point are joining forces to offer local businesses a chance to network and form new connections.

Better Buzz Initiative had its kick off event Oct. 16 at Prestige Luxury Auto on Main Street in College Park.

Events in East Point and Hapeville will follow the first one.

Allie O’Brien, Hapeville’s main street and marketing manager, said the initiative came forth after a meeting of the minds with representatives from each city.

“Months ago we all talked about ideas,” she said. “We met in College Park. This first year is a pilot for the program.”

Currently, the format for the events is free-flowing. Business merchants will gather in a pre-determined location to mingle, seek advice and input from one another.

“Right now we are just having the networking opportunity and the opportunity to meet with the economic development representatives,” said O’Brien. “[We want to meet] on a grassroots level to see what is going in the downtown area of each city.”

Erica Rocker, College Park’s business development manager, said the initiative is vital for a few reasons.

“The whole purpose was to provide an opportunity for [business merchants] to share ideas, share successes and support one another,” said Rocker. “We also want to encourage our merchants to shop locally. You are stronger with more than with few.”

There are, as Rocker pointed, many obstacles to the tri-cities area of Hapeville, East Point and College, one in particular pertaining to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

“Being on the hill of the state’s largest employer presents challenges that other cities don’t have such as jet fuel and industrial noise” said Rocker. “It’s like trying to plant flowers in a concrete metropolis.”

O’Brien said the goal is to chart the course the first year and from there decide the level of frequency the events will be held and the format they will take.

“It might develop into something more robust,” she said. “Maybe a speaker that could act as a resource.”

Thus far there seems to be legitimate interest.

O’Brien said she sent out a postcard notification to businesses in Hapeville and in return received several emails and phone calls regarding getting more information.

“Meetings will be quarterly, roughly,” she said. “We have talked about perhaps waiting until after the holiday season to start up again. Details will be forthcoming for upcoming events.”

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