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PTK aims to help local businesses

A group of college students are reaching out to offer local business leaders help in keeping shoppers in the local market.

Members of the Jefferson Davis Community College Alpha Eta Lambda Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa held a workshop Wednesday in an effort to introduce themselves to the business community while offering assistance to keep local dollars local.

PTK President Thad Evans said the local business community is what keeps any community moving.

“We know that local business is the backbone as well as the heart and soul of any economy,” Evans said. “We know that supporting the local business community not only affects the local economy but also affects the world.”

Evans introduced business owners to the term “glocoloation,” explaining that the term can be defined as “thinking globally, while acting locally.”

Other PTK members on hand for the presentation Wednesday were Bobbi Jo Nelson, vice president of service; and Ashley Bonds, vice president of leadership. Advisor Sharon Peacock was also on hand for the presentation.

“We want to do anything we can to connect college students to the community and the businesses that offer goods and services,” Peacock said. “That’s what this meeting was about. We wanted to get ideas and input from business leaders on what is important to them as a business and help them connect with what may be a new market for them.”

Sheri Davenport, co-owner of Bonehead Boots, attended the event and was pleased with the enthusiasm she saw from the PTK members.

“This is a really great idea,” Davenport said. “This is the kind of thing that will help get our name out to students who still may not be aware of our shop and what we have to offer.”

Nelson said the goal of the group is to help businesses keep shoppers in the local retail area and help remind them of the benefits of shopping at home.

“We want to promote the importance of keeping local money within the community,” Nelson said. “To do that we want to develop a project that will lead to a successful holiday shopping season for our community to boost the local economy.”

Throughout the meeting, PTK members presented possibilities for helping to develop new leads for businesses searching for a new market or to increase their presence in the market.

“We have some ideas on things that might help get the services or goods offered by local businesses out there for everyone to see,” Evans said. “One idea is to sponsor and promote a business showcase. With a central location, vendors could bring in samples of their products and draw people in to see what they have to offer. We would also like to expand on the Christmas in Brewton event held each December.”

At the conclusion of the discussion, merchants were asked to complete a survey to get ideas on how best to proceed with plans of the group. For those merchants unable to attend Wednesday workshop, Evans said he could make the survey available through email.

“We want as much feedback and other ideas as possible,” Evans said. “Just send me an email and I’ll be happy to pass along the survey to anyone who wants to respond.”

To request a survey, email Evans at thad.evans@gmail.com.