- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Leonardtown has several projects planned for the coming year, from vitalizing the waterfront to launching an advertising campaign. In a few days, business owners will have the chance to learn how those efforts could benefit them.
The Leonardtown Business Association is hosting a State of the Town breakfast for its members Friday, Feb. 8. Members can register today, Feb. 6, to reserve seating.
Jackie Buckler, an owner of The Hair Company salons in Leonardtown and Charlotte Hall, plans to attend. “I love sharing ideas,” she said. Her salon sees about 2,000 people a month. Potential customers for Leonardtown businesses are there, Buckler said.
One of the biggest issues facing Leonardtown entrepreneurs, she said, is there aren’t enough businesses downtown. People might not drive there for one or two boutiques. But they might make the trek if they could spend an afternoon shopping at several locations.
Buckler said she recently returned from a hair show in Las Vegas where she taught a 1,200-member class on salon marketing. Leonardtown business owners, she said, also could benefit from discussions about building their own websites and doing their own advertising. But so many business owners aren’t sure where to begin. It can be overwhelming. “It’s non-stop and you have to continue to change,” she said.
The Leonardtown Business Association plans to address some of those issues at its breakfast and throughout the year.
Up for discussion is Leonardtown’s progress on its branding efforts, which include a logo, and a contract to have additional photos taken for events, said Town Administrator Laschelle McKay.
Representatives from the town’s tourism office will show business owners how to use the tourism website to promote their own businesses. Also, the association will review ways to develop and maintain social media sites.
McKay said business owners will be briefed on the town’s plan to issue requests for proposals for development, to include a restaurant and retail, on the Leonardtown Wharf. The association also will review improvements planned for Tudor Hall Farm, connecting about 400 acres to downtown and along the waterfront, adding green space, revitalizing historic buildings and attracting additional businesses.
The association was formed “to advance economic, professional, cultural and civic welfare of Leonardtown,” according to its website. Monthly meetings are held to provide networking opportunities, face-to-face discussions with elected officials and to collaborate in marketing events. This year marks the third State of the Town breakfast.
Currently, the Leonardtown Business Association has about 80 members. The hope is to strengthen the entire town. “We want to bring people to town and showcase our businesses,” McKay said.