The city of Upper Arlington and the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce have long partnered to promote the importance of supporting our local service and retail community. The Live in UA? Shop in UA!

The city of Upper Arlington and the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce have long partnered to promote the importance of supporting our local service and retail community. The Live in UA? Shop in UA!

The awareness campaign has been in existence for nine years, providing seasonal reminders to residents of the benefits that come from shopping locally. And community awareness of the campaign's mantra is certainly high.

But we believe we can do more to support this important segment of our community, especially in light of today's economic climate. As such, the city and chamber are already making plans to take Live in UA? Shop in UA! to a new level in 2010 and beyond.

The chamber is hard at work preparing the scope of work for its Retail Committee in 2010. Chamber president Becky Hajost is seeking committed retail business representatives and service related businesses to join her in strengthening the committee as an even more effective planning team and merchant advocate. Ideally, representatives of the community's various shopping areas will be found to help expand the committee's efforts and serve as liaisons with the businesses they represent.

The Live in UA? Shop in UA! campaign materials and logo have always been available for use by the retail and service community, with more and more taking advantage of that opportunity. In 2010 and beyond we will continue to take a proactive approach to working directly with businesses to better understand their needs and how to make sure the campaign messaging and materials are more readily accessible. We will also continue our efforts to partner in our event planning and promotions citywide.

With the Retail Committee's assistance, it is hoped the chamber and city can partner to host a resource event or series of informational workshops geared to providing small businesses useful information on business planning, effective marketing and more.

Live in UA? Shop in UA! typically has three seasons when the campaign is most visible: summer as families plan vacations and activities for their children; fall and back to school activities; and the all-important holiday season, the most profitable time for retailers. Using the UA Chamber Business Monthly special section, space will be set aside for seasonally related campaign promotions, with opportunities for local businesses to participate at special prices. As the year draws to a close and the holiday season winds down, this effort will continue to expand even further.

Look for regular features about the shopping areas and businesses to be found in our community in both city and chamber newsletters. And of course, you can expect to see an expanded Web presence for the campaign.

It all sounds like a recipe for success, but there's one important component we need to realize our goals - representation from the businesses we are working to support. If you are a service or retail business owner or manager and you are interested in getting more involved in the Live in UA? Shop in UA! campaign in 2010, we want to hear from you. Call Becky at 481-5710 (becky@uachamber. org).