The Northland Area Business Association held a recent breakfast meeting for members to get some advice from tax professionals.

The Northland Area Business Association held a recent breakfast meeting for members to get some advice from tax professionals.

The event was scheduled in the morning because not everyone's schedule permits them to attend the quarterly luncheons or occasional after-hours gatherings, according to president Roseann Hicks.

In fact, Hicks herself was unable to be on hand for the breakfast session; it chanced to land on her morning for opening the family business, Yogi's Hoagies and Dairy Bar on Morse Road.

But, she said last week, that's precisely the point in scheduling events intended to benefit members, and boost membership, at different times of day.

Around 15 people did attend the breakfast meeting, which Hicks found to be "very much" encouraging.

Hicks is uncertain if the turnout was the result of scheduling a morning event before many NABA members go into work or because the concept of getting some free tax advice was so enticing.

"I think it was probably a little of both," she said.

One thing the business organization president, now in her second term, is certain of is that there is a need to expand the offerings and times of events intended to help members.

"As a business organization, we have to recognize that not everybody can attend a lunch, not everybody's going to be able to attend a breakfast, not everybody's going to be able to attend an after-hours," Hicks said.

Taking into account the varied schedule of so many who belong to NABA is important to ensure equal benefits to all, she said.

Hicks, who is due to give birth to her first child any day now, doesn't have another special member-benefit event planned she's been more than a little busy but she does have an idea for the next one.

That involves the gridSMART program American Electric Power officials rolled out in the entire Northland area, along with parts of Gahanna and New Albany, more than a year ago.

Intended to assist consumers in reducing their demand upon the power grid at peak times, Hicks said that gridSMART presentations before the Northland Community Council and other venues have concentrated on ways homeowners can use the "smart meters" and other aspects of the effort.

She's hoping to find someone from American Electric Power who can address ways in which gridSMART can help business people save money on their power bills.

"We need to find a balance of topics that are going to help business owners save money, gain and retain customers," Hicks said. "We have to get creative."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

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