The town of Argyle was planning to launch a new Business Association this spring in an effort to support and promote local businesses. But as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area and many businesses were forced to close, the new program immediately adapted to continue to help out Argyle businesses.
“At first, we had set out a launch plan that included a mixer event at the end of April,” said Haley Pittman, marketing specialist for the town of Argyle. “(The pandemic) delayed our plans, of course, but we shifted gears to address our business owners’ needs in other ways.”
The Argyle Economic Development Corporation, of which the ABA is under, allocated funds for an advertising campaign that is encouraging residents in and around Argyle to shop from Argyle businesses, Pittman said. Businesses received free exposure from the ad campaign, and the ABA has also been sharing information about grant opportunities and other COVID-19 updates.
Pittman said the ABA was created to be a resource for specific businesses, to provide a forum for business owners and to support those businesses in a variety of ways. The town met with leaders of the Highland Village Business Association, Argyle business owners and other community leaders as it explored the idea for its own association. While Argyle is a community member of the Metroport Chamber of Commerce — which represents six other communities — the town wanted something more specific to Argyle.
“(The Metroport Chamber) is a wonderful resource, and we still recommend that local businesses join the chamber if they can,” Pittman said. “The Argyle Business Association is meant to have more of a specific focus on the Argyle community. We plan to remain just as involved in Metroport as we have been in the past, but we will add the ABA as a supplemental resource for businesses in our town.”
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the ABA remains focused on digital outreach and support as it hopes to have an “official launch” soon, “once we can start thinking about special events again,” Pittman said.
“When we do, any businesses located within our town limits can join for free; everyone from corporate offices to home-based businesses,” Pittman said. “We will offer programming to connect local businesses with town officials, as well as to network amongst themselves. This means luncheons, coffee events, etc. In addition, we expect for the program to grow into a space for more communication and support between the town and our businesses.”
“We want businesses to feel welcome and appreciated by the town, and to know that they can come to us with their questions or needs,” Pittman said. “At the same time, we want business owners to be able to network with each other. However we can, we want to partner with Argyle businesses to facilitate their growth.”