It's not the first time local business owners have tried to form a merchants association, but this time co-creators Daneece Fraizer and Nan Danford think that have a new (and perhaps improved) plan to make it work.
"They all were kind of dues-based associations and they all just kind of fizzled out over time," Fraizer said. "If your real estate is in the Fair Oaks Village, your business is already a member of the merchants association."
"If we as merchants can raise awareness, use free media to advertise and get the word out about The Village then it's just going to help everyone who is there," Fraizer said.
There will be no membership fees or dues either, Fraizer said.
Fraizer, who owns , and Danford, who is the co-owner of Home2roost, rebooted the idea with the simple intention of increasing Village awareness.
"I own a business here, Nan owns a business here," Fraizer said. "We just see thousands of people who drive down Sunrise Boulevard, right by Fair Oaks Village everyday who do not know it's even there."
Fraizer and Danford will be going door to door to each business in The Village, informing owners about the association and asking them if they'd like to be included in the members' business directory. So far the two have hit about 45 businesses. The directory will include contact information - e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc. - as well as a brief description of the business. Fraizer believes there are easily at least 100 more businesses she and Danford will want to hit.
"If a business is in The Village, if they give us their e-mail, they'll know exactly what is going on," Fraizer said. "We wanted a vehicle to be able to have every merchant have a voice within the merchant's association but also to have a communication tool that everybody can utilize."
That communication will manifest itself in a monthly newsletter and monthly meeting, Fraizer said.
Finding a place to hold those meetings, though, could prove a problem should they attract large number of attendees. So far, Fraizer and Danford have managed to raise the awareness with not only local businesses, but with local organizations like the Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee (FOVEC) and the Chamber of Commerce.
"Nan and I have really hoped talking to each other and being involved with the Chamber, that being in the merchants association might bring more members to the Chamber of Commerce," Fraizer said.
The ultimate goal for working with the other organizations is to promote local business, Fraizer said, and for local businesses and organizations to help support one another.
"There's plenty of room for us to work together," said Chamber director Jan Bass-Otto.
The merchants association will be holding its first official meeting Monday, March 12 at 9 a.m. inside . For more information about the association, e-mail email@example.com. Also be sure to check out the association flier in the story photo gallery.