By Chad Ingram
Imagine for March, which is maple-tapping time in Haliburton County, Minden’s downtown decked out with sap buckets and spring kites.
It’s a vision that will come to fruition very shortly, as Minden’s merchants revive a business association for the community.
It’s been a few years since the last attempt to revive the business association in Minden Hills township. It sort of fizzled out, but a few years on, and with a number of new, savvy businesses opening up in Minden in the meantime, it seems an ideal time for the phoenix of the association to take flight.
“New stores have opened up with new owners,” the Dominion Hotel’s Shawn Chamberlin, who is one of the group’s co-chairs, told the paper. “Investments are being made all the time in the business community. There are new businesses in our community. It’s a good time to get together.”
Chamberlin is right and certainly a strong showing at a meeting last week, despite horrible weather, demonstrates a healthy, renewed interest in the concept.
Chamberlin said he thought in the past, the association tried to accomplish too many things at once.
This time around, there will be more focus on doing a few things very well.
One of those things, emanating from the brain of downtown landlord and design guru Sinclair Russell, is a regular, themed decorating of the community, putting Minden in different costumes that exhibit its local culture and unique personality.
As the syrup season sets in, March will be Maple Magic. Not only will Minden’s downtown get a sugar-bush-style makeover, but business owners are encouraged to embrace the theme by offering maple-infused foods or promoting other maple products.
It’s fun, it’s seasonal and reflective of the community.
Many communities have business associations or business improvement areas and they can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to community beautification and business cross-promotion. Uniting behind common themes is a fun way for local businesses to support one another and should, hopefully, drive up consumer traffic, resulting in mutual benefit.
With co-operation from the Township of Minden Hills and community groups, it seems like the revitalized business association is heading for success.
And certainly success is a theme the whole community can get behind.