Newton Falls – The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association wrapped up 2013 with their December meeting, briefly discussing what had been accomplished during the year and spending the majority of the lunchtime gathering presenting ideas on what they hoped to achieve in the coming months.

The conversation opened with a recap of the items from the November meeting, beginning with a reminder of the area’s recently celebrated Small Business Saturday which traditionally is the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Though Newton Falls did not specifically host a town-wide event this year, the NFACA hopes to start planning now to encourage participation for the official 2014 festivities. One of the main goals for the upcoming year is to better promote the businesses in Newton Falls, and “Shop Locally” posters can be seen around town especially during the holidays, reminding customers that there are plenty of great shops and services right in their own neighborhood. Keeping business dollars locally will help the local economy and thus benefits the community even more. A committee will be forming after the first of the year to make a plan to promote the small businesses, even those that don’t necessarily have a physical store front.

Also in the topic of getting the word out about the hidden treasures in the region, the members revisited the idea of a welcome packet with brochures and information about the community to help potential members become acquainted with what the organization and the area has to offer. Attempting to utilize all forms of communication and marketing methods, the members discussed social media as a means of advertising in addition to the planned revamp of the association’s website. More on that, including plans for a banner over the bridge as well as the streetlamp banners in progress will be tabled until the next meeting.

Next on the agenda, the minutes and treasurer’s report from the November meeting were accepted into record. The city manager then introduced the new Chief of Police, Gene Fixler, who was in attendance.

In new business, it was announced that a Community Christmas Craft Show would be held the following Sunday, December 15th from 10-5pm at the Community Center with a Fill-a-Cruiser and visits with Santa among the activities to be presented. This was a perfect opportunity for community members to see the new facelift of the facility, some of which took place on this season’s Make a Difference Day.

Before the close of the meeting, “Santa” Rick expressed his gratitude for the generosity of the residents of the town and members of the business community that help bring the holiday spirit to Newton Falls and passed along a reminder to help out the local Church Mouse which helps local families all year round.

The next NFACA meeting will be noon on Tuesday, January 14 at Roby Lee’s.