OAKHURST — After one full year of meetings and development, Mountain Area Merchants Association (MAMA) met recently to formalize its organization. Nine local businesses paid annual dues as founding members, and reviewed and accepted the bylaws into record. The businesses are CLASS – The Body Pastiche, Moss Web Works, Back 2 Basics, Crab Cakes Restaurant & Roman’s Bar, Discover Yosemite, In My Garden (formerly Purple Cow Mall,) Local Social, Oakhurst Feed & Pet Supply, Pak ‘N Page, and Sullivan’s Tire Pros.
MAMA is a voluntary, non-profit, non-partisan group of local business owners dedicated to the collaborative promotion of member businesses, support of community initiatives and encouragement of our citizenry to shop locally.Through this organization, mountain area retail merchants are banding together to combine resources, with an emphasis on community service and the leveraging of business opportunities.
“Living and doing business in a small town requires creativity and collaboration,”says Virginia Eaton, Owner Class, the Body Pastiche. “We are dedicated to supporting Oakhurst’s local economy by working with other businesses to offer mountain area residents the highest quality goods and services at the best price without ever having to drive elsewhere.”
Since forming MAMA in early 2015 some of the group’s collaborative efforts included an Easter Egg Hunt promotion, Memorial Day sidewalk sale, interfacing with Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney David Linn and Supervisor Tom Wheeler regarding issues with impact on local business, and more.
Those who regularly attended the informal gatherings throughout 2015 did not originally want more structure or a formal organization. However, over time, it became apparent that a formal association would benefit participants in many ways, including the ease of payment for collaborative advertising and the ability to apply for grant funding.
While spearheading the January meeting, organizer Colette Goga reminded attendees that, “This is a participatory group. Members will be expected to be do-ers and to take their turn as an elected officer at some time during their membership.”
Planning is already underway for a “Sweetheart” live radio broadcast in February at Oakhurst Feed and highlighting multiple other MAMA members, March Madness collective advertising, Easter Egg Hunt promotion and Memorial Day sidewalk sale.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to cross-promote with other local businesses in our area,” says Rima Runtzel of Local Social.
All local business owners, including those who operate brick and mortar retail locations as well as all other types, are invited and encouraged to attend the next meeting on Monday, Feb. 8 at Crab Cakes Restaurant at 6 p.m. to learn more or to become a member. This meeting will include the finalization of a 2016 meeting schedule and the election of officers.
For more information, call Colette Goga at 683-7977 or Mike Sullivan at 683-5999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.