(And businesses who would like to become a member!)
Uptowne Olds is hosting a Meet and Greet of their 2023 membership at The Beech CoWork on Monday evening, March 6 beginning at 6:00 pm.
“We’ve had so many new members join this year, it’s very necessary,” said April Jemieff, President of Uptowne Olds. “We have a few who joined us late in 2022, at least another 6 or 8 new members already paid, and more are in the process of signing up.”
Despite the challenges many small businesses faced in 2020 and 2021, Uptowne Olds businesses came through the tough times comparatively well. “We have lost a few businesses in the Uptowne district,” Jemieff said about the changing dynamics. “But more new businesses have opened. Where we once had many vacant spaces in Uptowne, now there are very few. Others have changed hands and brand new ones opened, bringing new faces into the shopping and dining core of the community.”
With all the changes, the membership of Uptowne Olds has burgeoned from its low of 43 businesses in 2018 to 60 by the end of 2022, an upward surge of nearly 40%. It appears they could exceed that number in 2023.
One reason Jemieff feels the organization is doing so well is the strength of their marketing and social media presence. “We never stopped, even through the pandemic. We are so lucky to have a member with strong social media skills. Amy Lee at Olds Town Square is a treasure to us for that – she took the reins and totally revamped our online engagement, keeping us in front of our customers and clients. And because everyone worked together so cooperatively in this group — to pivot and dance through all the restrictions — we’ve come out stronger than before.”
Hosting events is another feather in Uptowne Olds’ cap. The membership was surveyed in 2021 as to what they felt the priorities were for the organization going forward, and an overwhelming 79% of responses indicated it was the events that best serve the district. Summer Oldstice, Halloween Howl and Midnight Madness have been staples for several years, all of them adapting to be able to continue through the pandemic years. The events continue to be adjusted as they need to benefit the members as well as the community and visitors.
“We became more involved in Oldstoberfest in September,” Jemieff adds. “Now, we’re looking at extending Summer Oldstice to include a Friday night market, and making Midnight Madness bigger than before. We may add some other activities in the early part of 2024 as well to keep the area activated in the late winter and spring.”
The Meet-and-Greet will be an opportunity for those who have registered for a membership and for any businesses in or near the Uptowne district to come register for a membership. The schedule will include information on the Uptowne Bucks program, 2023 events being planned, and networking time.
“We felt it was necessary to get our members together so we can put faces to names, and get the in-person time we can’t always get when we’re running our businesses,” Jemieff said.
For information on the Meet-and Greet evening on March 6, email email@example.com.