All 12 Northland Area Business Association officers and board members are poised to hit the pavement on Wednesday, Aug. 15, trying to recruit new businesses to join and invite former members to come back into the fold.

All 12 Northland Area Business Association officers and board members are poised to hit the pavement on Wednesday, Aug. 15, trying to recruit new businesses to join and invite former members to come back into the fold.

"Our hope, really, is just talk to people, answer some questions, let them know we're there," NABA president Roseann Hicks said last week.

"The goal is to increase the total number of members," added membership committee chairwoman Emily Kesterson, manager of the Cooper State Bank branch on East Dublin-Granville Road. "The more we can get, the better we can network with one another and the better we can serve the Northland area."

Kesterson admitted that membership in the association has slipped a little of late, and Hicks said she understands small-business owners are looking for ways to cut costs in a down economy.

But both said they see some real value to being part of the association, which was established in 1999.

"So often we get our business from other businesses," Hicks said. "It's kind of you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back.

"NABA is very affordable as far as a membership-based organization is concerned," she added.

"I would say for me, the biggest thing in joining NABA, I do not live in the Northland community and it's given me the opportunity learn a lot about the community itself," Kesterson said. "This area is very driven by local businesses, and if you get out and visit with people, you find that out. Another thing is just networking with other businesses. Being a bank manager, it's provided me with lots of business from other members.

"Northland has a lot to offer, but if you don't live here, sometimes you don't see it."

The main focus of the full-court press membership drive in mid-August will be to approach the owners and managers of new enterprises who might not be aware of NABA's existence or don't know much about it, according to Kesterson.

"The real purpose of it right now is to be out there and let new business owners what NABA is and how we can benefit them," she said.

All the businesses approached on Aug. 15 will be invited to the association's September quarterly luncheon.

"Some of them are the new businesses in the area and then some are businesses who have been in the area and have not belonged and some are former members we hope to bring back into the fold," Kesterson said. "We're trying to hit all pieces of the pie. It's going to be a fun day."

"We're actually going to send out a mailer letting people know that there's an upcoming luncheon and we're going to be in the area," Hicks said.