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Community rallies behind #ShopNederland

Businesses brainstorm ways to increase foot traffic, sales

NEDERLAND — Business owners throughout the city are building up a Shop Nederland campaign residents have never seen before.

Landlords, entrepreneurs and shop managers filled the new Nederland Economic Development Corporation office on Boston Avenue Wednesday morning to brainstorm ways to increase tourism, foot traffic and sales.

The event — a town hall meeting specifically for Nederland businesses co-hosted by the NEDC, the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, the Nederland Heritage Festival and the City of Nederland — brought the community’s finance and marketing elite together with Nederland leaders to help plan upcoming events.

“People don’t spend money inside their homes,” Angela Fanette, Nederland Parks and Recreation director, said. “We want to get them out and seeing what Nederland has to offer.”

Nederland business owners and representatives listen to Kay DeCuir, Nederland Economic Development Corporation executive director, right, detail a new promotion program geared toward boosting shopping and tourism throughout the city during a town hall meeting Wednesday morning in the NEDC office on Boston Avenue.

Nederland business owners and representatives listen to Kay DeCuir, Nederland Economic Development Corporation executive director, right, detail a new promotion program geared toward boosting shopping and tourism throughout the city during a town hall meeting Wednesday morning in the NEDC office on Boston Avenue.

Each person that walked through the NEDC doors Wednesday morning received information for the 2015 Trunk-R-Treat on Oct. 31, Christmas on the Avenue on Dec. 5, the Lighted Christmas Parade on Dec. 8, and a new program called “Light Up Nederland.”

“Light Up Nederland is going to help us bring in as many people to our businesses and to our city as we can between now and the new year,” Kay DeCuir, NEDC executive director, said. “I’ve purchased five highway billboards this year to promote Shop Nederland. That’ll bring people down here this holiday season, but we want to try something different to keep them coming back.

“We’re working with the parks and streets departments to get our public areas lit up for Christmas. What we want you to do is decorate the front of your business and the front of your home. We want this whole town to glow so when people drive by on those highways, they know good things are happening here.”

DeCuir said judges will rank the best Christmas lighting on the windows and doors of Nederland homes and businesses to award cash in both categories. First place winners will receive $500 for their spirit.

“Again, we’re doing this in conjunction with Shop Nederland, which is going on from October until after New Year’s. Shop Nederland is with us the entire holiday season, and we want to promote our businesses as much as we can,” DeCuir said.

Nederland business owners and representatives could claim free promotional items to boost shopping and tourism throughout the city during a town hall meeting Wednesday morning in the NEDC office on Boston Avenue.

Nederland business owners and representatives could claim free promotional items to boost shopping and tourism throughout the city during a town hall meeting Wednesday morning in the NEDC office on Boston Avenue.

Diana LaBorde, Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau president and CEO said five Shop Nederland billboards will help amplify the efforts many businesses have been making individually. A business owner across the room suggested everyone use #ShopNederland on their social media posts to help tie the community together.

“Yes, let’s all rally around this,” LaBorde said. “That’s such a great idea. My main thing to say is participate in all you can. A lot of these programs don’t cost you anything — or if they do, it’s a very small fee — to get your business seen by hundreds and thousands of people.”

Twitter: @crhenderson90