On the Shoofly - May 2020
– Story and photos by Anne Pitre
Hancock County is known for its eclectic mix of small businesses, each with its own charm and personality. Now that many of them are easing into getting restarted, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce has launched a new campaign called “Paint the Town Green.”
This endeavor is meant to help businesses throughout Hancock County spread the word about their products and services by leveraging the Chamber’s network. Be on the lookout for posters and ribbons on businesses in Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Waveland, Kiln and beyond soon!
Posters and ribbons are now being distributed by Chamber staff and a team of volunteers to anyone who wishes to display them. These items are being provided so that people passing by will get visual confirmation that a business’s doors are open and they are ready to welcome people back.
On the Shoofly
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“We’re happy to offer this promotion to all businesses at this time,” said Hancock Chamber executive director, Tish Williams. “ALL are welcome. We see our role in restarting the local economy as being inclusive and encouraging to all businesses. We are all coming together to support one another.”
People are also painting the town green in the digital space. You will notice the bright, lime green graphics splashed across the Chamber’s social media accounts and their website.
An additional component of Paint the Town Green is encouraging people to use #HancockStrong on their social media posts. The hashtag not only groups the posts together on the different social media platforms, but also pulls in all posts with the hashtag onto the Chamber website. By going this extra step, customers will be able to find information about many Hancock County businesses in a centralized location.
All the posts are located on the Restart Hancock County page, to which you can navigate from the Chamber’s homepage - hancockchamber.org. From the Restart Hancock County page, it is very easy for people to find a business - just click through a business’s post, and you will be routed directly to their social media accounts (please note that Facebook users should tag the Hancock Chamber of Commerce by using the @ symbol as well as using #HancockStrong).
Business owners throughout Hancock County, especially in Old Town Bay St. Louis, are proudly displaying their posters and ribbons. Bay Town Inn was one of the first to put theirs out, and owner Nikki Moon is setting a great example of how to restart your business safely and responsibly.
“We’re happy to be a part of the Paint the Town Green promotion,” Moon said.
“We’ve put out our poster and ribbon, and are using the hashtag on our social media accounts to spread the word that the Inn is a safe, comfortable place to visit and is ready to welcome guests.
"We even invited Stephen Burrell, owner of Incleanations, to train our staff on how to properly and professionally clean and disinfect all the rooms at the Inn after hearing his presentation on The SPIN. We’ve taken great care to ensure the health and safety of our guests, and we’ll be right here waiting for them when they can visit.”
Another Bay St. Louis business taking advantage of Paint the Town Green is Trapani’s Eatery. They reopened for indoor dining on May 7 and are using both components of the promotion to attract customers and new team members.
“We have our green ribbon outside to greet and welcome our customers, and we’re using the hashtag to spread the word that we’re looking for good people to join our staff,” said owner Jolynne Trapani.
“We’re very happy to have the green light to welcome people back to the restaurant, and we appreciate the Chamber’s support in helping us amplify that message.”
Finally, French Potager owner Martha Whitney Butler is displaying her ribbon to show that she is looking forward to getting back to full operations.
“We’re not back at full capacity quite yet, but we are filling orders as possible and people can shop our website and social media accounts,” she said. “We’re using the hashtag and remaining very active online so our customers will remember us when they are ready to give a great gift or reschedule their special events.”
Anyone who is interested in getting a poster or ribbon can contact Sally Isaacs, business manager at the Hancock Chamber of Commerce at 228-467-9048 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.