Suggestions to improve local business climate
I have been a citizen of Rockdale for about 10 years. My husband and I own a home here and I have recently opened up a small store, Nic Nac Shack.
Before I opened the store, I drove around Rockdale to get a consumer point of view of first impressions and to ask if I would stop and shop here.
The answer was no.
I depended upon the city government and organizations to take care of the changes so that I would feel comfortable with opening my shop. Mistake.
In all fairness the city government can only do so much. City Manager Kelvin Knauf did manage to get a handicap symbol painted in a parking space in front of my store.
We cleaned the glass, installed a planter and swept up the garbage and debris. My husband made a template and spent $100 on paint so that we, and not the city, could paint the parking stripes.
I happen to have a master’s in counseling and psychology and also have 20 years in sales and marketing experience so I asked myself what I could offer not only for my business but other Rockdale business owners as well.
In the marketing aspect, I have discussed the possibility of another business buying a bus and working with a lady in Georgetown who had expressed an interest in a day tour bus route bringing individuals from around her area into Rockdale to shop.
I have obtained a list of 14 buildings in the downtown area which are vacant and have passed it on to others to see if the owners would be willing to give a special rental rate to increase businesses and opportunities.
I am asking for donations of racks, display cases, registers shelving etc. That would enable some of them to cut their cost so they can consider opening a business.
I am in the process of sending out e-mails, letters and phone calls to see if I can get some of the major market newspapers and television stations to do a story on what a small town is doing to survive in today’s economic climate.
I have come up with an idea to manufacture T-shirts. On the front it will read “Together We Will Make It” Citizens of Rockdale. It will have a picture of a lot of people also on the front. On the back will be the sponsors to pay for it.
Proceeds would go to fix the cracks in the downtown area and other areas.
Downtown businesses could prepare to be open Monday- Saturday. If a bus route can be established for day trips we will all need to be in sync with time.
Citizens of Rockdale need to clean up your properties. In front of your homes, on the streets and any where you see trash, pick it up.
Stop talking about Rockdale like it’s a dog. Negativity only breeds negativity.
My husband and I are both convinced that Rockdale is worth the time, energy and the effort.
Ronnie and Virginia Manning