Submitted by Michael Alon
Running a business in this current economic climate is challenging. Having a business in a seasonal and tourist based town is even harder. Even more difficult, is being a business owner in an unpurified business community.
This is how Michael Alon, owner of DaVallia, felt. This is why he started the Chester Business Council. With hopes of eventually opening a business in Chester eight years ago, Michael started doing his homework.
He talked to business owners and towns people only to hear the same phrase repeated all too often, "Retail is tough in Chester." Most new business owners normally start by joining their local chamber of commerce; not in Chester.
The lingering topic of Okemo overshadowing Chester prevents people from being chamber members. Chester has tried to split off from Okemo Chamber Of Commerce with failed attempts.
There are several new factors that Alon believes make this the perfect time to initiate the Chester Business Council. Chester has a new town manager, David Pisha, who is very pro-business. The Okemo Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director, Margie Graf. The dreary economic climate and the upcoming Chester bridge closures are creating a sink or swim economic climate for Chester business owners.
"When we opened DaVallia in June, Misty Valley Books was the only business to welcome us," says Alon. There was a time when the "Welcome Wagon" would welcome new businesses.
"When I went around in June to local businesses," said Alon, "informing them of the Chester Business Council, no one knew about the bridge closures that will devastate unprepared Chester businesses."
The concept behind the Council is simple; create a welcoming, informative, supportive business community. "Being a beneficial part of the business community is crucial," said Alon. "Individually it is hard to survive, as a whole we can thrive."
For more information, or to sign up to be included in the email list to be notified of upcoming meetings, stop into DaVallia or email Michael Alon at chesterbusinessgroup@yahoo. com.