On Wednesday, May 22, the Waverly Business Association (WBA) held a Mixer at the Loom as an opportunity for business owners in the Waverly, N.Y. and South Waverly, Pa. areas to get better acquainted and to learn more about what the WBA can do to help grow their businesses and be successful. In all, it was a well-attended, informational and productive event.

The WBA has been in existence for over 50 years, and as with any organization with that type of longevity, there have been high points and challenging periods over its run. In many instances, the effectiveness, as well as the overall need for the organization, has been called into question. One of the main purposes of last month’s function was to re-introduce the WBA to the local business community as an improved institution, one that seeks the betterment of local business as a whole, rather than that of selected individuals; one that looks to create opportunities for growth and development of the business community, rather than maintain the status quo; and one that accepts challenges head-on, rather than eschews them.

We at the WBA understand the formidable circumstances facing local businesses. The competition presented by “big box” retailers, along with the ever-increasing presence of online retailers in the market have wreaked havoc on the landscape of ‘Downtown USA’ for quite some time, and these threats are a permanent part of the commercial landscape. It’s for these reasons that small business owners must work together to create a shopping environment that emphasizes quality, top-notch service, and a warm, welcoming experience. And we at the WBA want to be instrumental in making that happen.

A recent survey conducted by the Village of Waverly concluded that only 8 percent of respondents predominantly shop at local businesses. Obviously, there is room for improvement, and in order to boost this, we need the input of local business owners — their suggestions, concerns and ideas. As such, we cordially invite Waverly and South Waverly business owners to participate in the WBA — to join a committee, to share your thoughts, or to just sit in on one of our monthly meetings. We meet on the second Monday of each month at 4 p.m. You can also get more information about the WBA by visiting www.discoverwaverly.com.

Cameron Van Norman, President, WBA

John Eppers, Vice-President, WBA

Sarah Brackel, Secretary, WBA

Kyle Burns, Treasurer, WBA

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