New chamber committee seeks to nurture 231 growth

Published 3:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2017

Leaders of businesses along U.S. Highway 231 met Tuesday at the first meeting of a newly established Chamber of Commerce committee just for them.

The chamber already had a downtown committee for downtown business leaders to plan events, but chamber president Kathy Sauer said this committee will focus on marketing and addressing the unique issues of businesses on U.S. 231.

“We know we have lots of traffic on 231, so how do we get the people utilizing 231 passing through to stop?” Sauer said. “What can we do to help them know ahead of time what we have so when they come through town they want to take part in that: to stop and eat or stop and do their business.”

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Sauer explained by giving the examples of businesses preparing for events at the Troy Recreation Center and at Troy University.

“The gist is, if we’re having a rec center tournament, they might need extra people,” Sauer said. “Another good example is the talk came up about move-in day at the university and what things can they publicize for move-in day.”

The Highway 231 Committee, as it has been named, will also bring these business leaders together and give them a chance to get to know each other and what is available up and down the highway, Sauer said.

“This committee brings them together to understand what is available,” Sauer said. “A lot of people themselves don’t know what’s available.”

Sauer said Tuesday’s meeting featured a good cross-section of businesses including restaurants, shops, auto dealers and more.

Dan Smith, director of the Troy Parks and Recreation, spoke to attendees about some of the events that the recreation department holds that will bring visitors into town: potential customers for their businesses.

“It’s very encouraging that the Chamber and many businesses and organizations have come together to try to make presence more available and well known to people that may be coming to visit Troy or passing through Troy,” Smith said. “I was asked to speak a little bit about Troy Parks and Recreation and our summer activities with the tourneys we have coming up as well as our facilities that may bring customers and visitors to Troy. We’re hosting the high school super-regional in May and the state tournament in July that we know are going to bring a lot of people.”

Kyle George, Associate Director of Troy Athletics, also spoke at the meeting about businesses coordinating efforts with different Troy events.

“I’m new here to Troy, so for me it was a chance to introduce myself to Chamber members on 231 and talk about upcoming events such as T-Day this upcoming Saturday, the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Softball and looking further down the road to Saturdays in Fall,” George said. “We’ll have two non-traditional date games, one on a Wednesday and one on a Thursday, and we wanted to go ahead and talk about ways we can be welcoming to all visitors as a group and showcase Troy for all of our events. “

The committee will meet quarterly with representatives from different entities speaking each time.