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No rules' business alliance formed in North Creek

NORTH CREEK - In an effort to promote greater economic success, North Creek business owners have teamed up to create The North Creek Business Alliance.

There is only one rule - there are no rules. The goal of the alliance is simple, to promote North Creek through doing, not pontificating.

"Procedure obscures what needs to be done," said NCBA Co-Founder and Co-Chair Mike Bowers. "Talking is what politicians do, doing is what business people do."

For the last seven months, several local business owners have gathered at Bowers' business - Bar Vino - every Thursday morning to discuss ideas and brainstorm ways of increasing the viability of all North Creek businesses.

"The alliance is all about synergy," Bowers said. "There is no competitive element - it is all about sharing information and ideas."

Bowers said instead of waiting for the local government to undertake a necessary task, the alliance focuses on the businesses doing it themselves, as a collective.

"If there is garbage on the sidewalk, don't complain, pick it up," he said. "We have to work together to ensure that each visitor's experience is positive - that is the key."

Bowers said the alliance is currently working on a plan that will bring park benches and other beautification measures to the North Creek business district.

"The tide began to change last summer when a new group of progressive business owners came to town," said NCBA Co-Chair Joel Beaudin. "Cooperation between businesses is key."

Beaudin said the alliance filed for non-profit status approximately six months ago.

"We even went through that formality only because we needed a bank account," he said.

Beaudin - a Copperfield shareholder - said that initially only a few business owners showed up, but momentum is building.

"We had 13 businesses represented by 18 people at our last meeting," Beaudin said. "We are seeing some very progressive thought and action - this is really turning into something."

According to Bowers, the alliance has already experienced several victories.

Last winter, the alliance applied collective bargaining techniques to reduce the cost of propane over 50 cents a gallon.

Further, the alliance has organized larger "brain-storming" events which were attended by local and state politicians along with bankers. This is an example of the alliance's growing cultural and political capital.

"There is such beauty here - it is such an attractive place for people to come," Bowers said. "The only thing that will hold us back is being negative."

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