A Berwick town councillor is anxiously anticipating the revival of a merchants’ association in the Berwick area.
Coun. Rod Reeves, who is also a member of the local business community and chairman of Berwick’s economic development committee, said the time has come to resurrect an organization that brings business owners together to “advertise and promote” the area.
“Over the years, we have had variations of a (merchants’) association, and right now, our only option is the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
Merchants in the town were represented by the Berwick-based Western Kings Board of Trade until 2012, when the board’s membership and the former Central Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce voted to dissolve and form one regional group.
Reeves isn’t critical of the move or the work of the AVCC, but says a “close to home” program is needed to help boost economic activity in the Berwick area.
“It is time to put Berwick back on the map,” said Reeves of the town-driven initiative that stems from efforts of the economic development committee.
Reeves would like to see future projects that will bring merchants together to promote area events, such as the town-wide yard sale and Gala Days.
“I consider it a marketing tool that will be part of a greater marketing campaign,” he said.
Berwick’s community development director, Julie Glaser, said an event is in the works to introduce the new initiative and rally area merchants.
A proposed Berwick and area merchants and services mixer, planned for late June, will identify membership and purpose, special events and group structure.
“It will be driven by who shows up and what they identify as priorities,” explained Glaser.
Merchants in the Cornwallis Square to Aylesford boundary will be invited to attend.
Reeves is looking forward to getting the ball rolling.
“I am very excited about it. It will allow merchants in the Berwick area to make some noise collectively.”