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Working Together on Hastings

Hastings businesses band together for awareness

Thom Fountain, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Businesses along the new Hastings Way benefit from working together to drum up awareness.
Businesses along the new Hastings Way benefit from working together to drum up awareness.

Small businesses have to rely on their communities. Efforts like Small Business Saturday and Cash Mobs have helped to energize consumers to get out and support their neighbors, but a group on Hastings Way is banding together to combine their efforts and help themselves out. The Hastings Way Business Association started popping up in June 2012 when Brian Eslinger – who has his own insurance agency right on Hastings – thought he’d like to get to know his neighbors.

“I was just trying to get together with other business owners to get a networking group for everyone to get to know everybody else.”

“If I get to know somebody, part of the group, I’m going to go out of my way to go to their store because I know them personally.” – Brian Eslinger, on the importance of networking with other small businesses

But beyond networking, Eslinger says the group is now trying to develop a stronger community awareness of the businesses that line Hastings Way. He said with the renovated roadway that was finished last year and the newly remodeled Mega Foods, it’s a great time to be there and know your neighbors – which can help generate business.

“When you think about it, typically you like to do business with people you know,” Eslinger said. “If I get to know somebody, part of the group, I’m going to go out of my way to go to their store because I know them personally. That’s big when you’re a small business owner – to have that one-on-one, personal relationship.”

The group has started by hosting some events to bring people down to the area. Last August they held a sidewalk sale that showcased the new sidewalks along Hastings and the business that line them. Coming up on May 18, they’ll be hosting a charity grill-out for local Boy Scouts groups.

Eslinger said they’re already looking ahead to the future as well: Within a year they’d like to set up a small fund or grant that could help bring other businesses in and gain membership.

“Really, we’re here to help each other grow,” Eslinger said. “It’s all about marketing yourself and people knowing you. At meetings, I see a face and their business and get to make that personal connection.”

Learn more at hastingsway.org

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