GRAFTON— All Aboard Grafton (AAG) set forth with a mission to revitalize the town just five years ago, and in that time has made tremendous strides. The organization has recognized that a key component in making the area thrive is the success of Taylor County’s small, locally owned businesses and is doing its part to assist those local shops.
On Tuesday evening, members of AAG came together, both in-person and virtually, for a meeting that was concentrated on how the organization could help promote the area’s small businesses this holiday season.
The week prior, Chairman Tom Hart had revealed that he had been in contact with media agencies inquiring about some promotional holiday advertising that would hopefully encourage individuals to visit Grafton, shop local and explore the many hidden treasures it has to offer.
Armed with all the necessary information, Hart once again presented the idea to the members of AAG, noting that he had met with a representative from WBOY and discussed options for a commercial that would highlight businesses throughout the city.
“The idea behind this is to spotlights small, independently owned businesses in Grafton and Taylor County, but also to inspire individuals to explore the entire area and our other businesses, as well,” he shared. “We can’t highlight every business we have here in a short commercial, but we can put an emphasis on the fact that there is more to explore.”
After a brief discussion about the cost of each promotional package, number of commercials that would air and businesses selected to be highlighted, the group unanimously chose to move forward with the project.
“If we have the finances and can do it, we need to do it for the sake of our businesses,” expressed former Mayor Peggy Barney.
AAG members also collectively decided on the first package proposal, which will garner a total of 120 commercials that will air on both ABC and WBOY NBC at various time slots for a 30 day period for a cost of $2,400.
Hart explained that the promotional ad would consist of a standard opening and exit, with the middle portion of the commercial alternating with three different variations, showcasing four different businesses in each variation.
He then shared the suggested establishments to be featured, disclosing that they selected businesses that have worked in conjunction with the efforts of All Aboard Grafton.
Those businesses include, Espresso Yourself, Arts and Treasures, Somethin’ Country, Appalachian Disk Exchange, The Flower Market, Leonard’s Grill, Jerry’s/Olde Town Donuts, Prim and Proper, Stems and Splinters, Tygart Valley Bulk Foods, Gypsy Wagon and Robert’s New and Used.
“This is something that All Aboard Grafton needs to do for the community. I know I said it last week, but I’ll say it again, not all of our small businesses are in a position where they can advertise right now. Times are hard for our local business owners and have only been made more difficult by the current pandemic. This is what this organization is here for,” voiced Hart.
Footage for the promotional commercial was shot just yesterday afternoon, with business owners sharing one simple sentence summarizing what their establishment is all about.
According to Hart, the commercials will begin airing on Tuesday, November 24.
Once word of this project got around, another local business expressed their willingness to help the cause.
Hart reported that Grafton’s First Community Bank generously donated $200 to be used toward the cost of the project.
“We are extremely grateful to First Community Bank for their kind donation, as well as to any person, business or organization that has helped us (AAG) along the way. I think this promotional ad will really do our local businesses some good. It’s not about getting people to just come to the coffee shop, or just east at Leonard’s, it’s more about letting those in the surrounding area know that there is so much more in Grafton and Taylor County than most realize,” he stated.
Hart continued by expressing his support for not only Main Street businesses, but for all of the county’s businesses by saying, “Any success for any business in our community, I consider success for all of us.”
All Aboard Grafton is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, November 24 at 7:00 p.m. Anyone wishing to join in and be a part of the group’s efforts is welcome to join in-person at Espresso Yourself Coffee House, or virtually via ZOOM.