Businesses Helping Businesses

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The Greater Fountain Hills Business Alliance, formed in November 2011 to fill needs of small businesses, will soon become a memory.

The all-volunteer business organization will stop operating June 30.
“We feel we have successfully fulfilled what we set out to do,” the nine-member board of directors said in a May 7 letter to members.

“We feel our efforts led to a new beginning for our local Chamber of Commerce and even how the leaders at Town Hall view our business community.”
Alliance chair John Gibson said current membership numbers 61; at one time, membership reached 109.

A few business leaders, headed by Paul Smith, created the Alliance to serve businesses in Fountain Hills, The Verdes, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Goldfield Ranch.
“Our co-founders felt it was important to identity, develop and executive pro-business activities and events that support many of our local business by driving new business and visibility in to your places of business,” the board statement read.

The alliance introduced the concept of Cash Mobs, a highly popular activity where “mobsters” invaded a business. Members were encouraged to spend at least $10 to show the impact of shopping locally. After the shopping spree, the mobsters proceeded to a restaurant to socialize, network and enjoy refreshments. Introduced in March 2012, hometown businesses benefited from $12,495 spent by 463 individuals during Cash Mobs.

More recently, the alliance switched its focus to strengthening business education and networking opportunities. Monthly “Lunch and Learn” workshops featured experts on various business-related topics, such as town economic development objectives, identity theft, risk management, and website and social media outlets.

The alliance sponsored a marketplace to showcase home-based and non-retail member businesses.

The Alliance established a partnership with JumpStartBiz, a business accelerator that helps develop jobs and economic growth.

As a non-profit organization, the alliance is required to donate remaining money in its treasury to another non-profit group, said Gibson.