The Coalition: Bringing business owners together

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BONNERS FERRY — On the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 5, The Plaza Downtown was filled with local business owners and entrepreneurs during the Coalition meeting.

The Coalition is a group of people who come together on occasion to meet, greet, and network business owners and entrepreneurs so that people can get to know and help each other, in turn strengthening the community.

“We love the coalition, because it enables us to meet and network with local business owners,” said Nancy Croll, owner of Boundary Consignment. “It’s a great platform for business owners to have their voices heard, and make positive changes forward for everyone to grow and profit.”

Walking in the door, one may be greeted by another attendee, which gets the conversation ball rolling. After some time, everyone sat down and they go around the room and each person introduced themselves and their business and/or profession.

“Honestly speaking, starting The Coalition was partially rooted in selfishness,” said Tim Garcia, founder of Überleben and The Coalition. “I wanted to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners up here, but people tend to stay hidden when they’re head-down, focused on their own work.

“From digital marketing professionals, to local restaurant owners, The Coalition exists to unite these different skill sets, as a collective for whenever the time arises,” Garcia continued. “We’re building a community around business.”

Grace Robinson spoke about ‘Social Media and Branding,’ and talked about online marketing, and branding and how social media platforms are widely important for business owners. She explained how a brand and logo are important visuals for customers and business recognition. She also stressed the importance of consistency, being personable to the customers, being knowledgeable, and building credibility for the brand and business.

“It was a good turnout, and there were quite a few first-time visitors at this Coalition meeting. Everyone seemed excited about both the networking and the presentation,” said Robinson.

Each person that has attended the Coalition meetings has seen a positive impact on their business adventure in one form or another. Meeting people and getting to know one another has brought business owners of like minds together and in turn, they help one another.

“I think the biggest tangible impact of the coalition for us has been the ability to meet other business owners in our town,” said Luke Croll, also owner of Boundary Consignment.“

Luke Croll noted he has met several local business owners at the meeting that he may or may not have met in everyday life.

“I was able to meet them all in one meeting,” said Luke Croll. “Now that I know them I can and have referred people to their businesses. They in turn have reciprocated.”

There were representatives from local news publications there as well, both printed and online, showcasing how many people each publication reaches, as advertising is important for not only the business owners, but the publications as well.

There were also representatives from the Chamber of Commerce who attended, bringing two business minded groups together, in turn enriching the relationships between business owners in the area.

“I love the coalition because I feel that the buzz is all about the people, it really isn’t big event oriented, it is truly about meeting others and learning what this community really has to offer,” said Luke Croll. “I truly want to see it continue to grow. I share all the social media posts and personally invite people every time we meet.”

When The Coalition meetings are planned, they announce the meeting via the Facebook page The Coalition/ Bonners Ferry Entrepreneurs, and any further questions can be asked through the page or email Tim Garcia at The next one is tentatively in April or May. There is also a wide variety of cards available on the card wall at The Plaza Downtown that attendees have left, giving people the opportunity to connect that way as well.

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