Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n03)
Broad Ripple Merchants Group reforms under BRVA
posted: Feb. 09, 2007
The Broad Ripple Merchants Group (BRMG) has been around for a couple of years. Made up of daytime businesses, the group organized events such as the Spring and Fall Gallery Tours and the Holiday Preview Party. Under director Curt Churchman, owner of Fine Estate Rugs located at 6516 Carrollton Avenue, the BRMG met monthly to organize the annual events and to discuss new ways to promote the Village.
To better serve all businesses and the entire Village, the BRMG has become part of the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA). This sub-group is now called the business division of the BRVA.
Starting this year, all business members of the BRVA will be part of the newly-formed business division. The director for 2007 is Elizabeth Ricke, owner of Broad Ripple State Farm located at 6124 College Avenue. Elizabeth has been an active member of the BRMG and the BRVA.
Elizabeth Ricke, 2007 BRVA Business Division director
There have been times in the history of the BRVA when residents thought that the organization was primarily concerned with business interests. There were other times when the businesses felt that the resident issues had a higher priority. Today, the BRVA is balancing business and residential members' concerns. The board of directors includes business and residential members. There are many sub-committees that deal with general Village concerts that benefit everyone. The business division now will serve the business members, balancing the organization's scope.
"Our (BRVA) objective is to do what is right for the Village as a whole," explained Elizabeth Ricke, "whether it is from a resident perspective or a business owner perspective. We don't want to be viewed as being business-heavy or resident-heavy. We want to be viewed as what we are. We are a mixture of businesses and residents, trying to make this the best place to live and work."
The structure of the business division includes Elizabeth as director, Curt as membership development coordinator, and Jeb Banner of Small Box Consulting as marketing coordinator. A portion of the BRVA business dues will be allocated to the business division for marketing. By including all BRVA business members in the new group, those market dollars can now be used to promote more than just the daytime retail portion of Broad Ripple. "Jeb Banner has lots of ideas for marketing the businesses," said Elizabeth. She explained that the marketing will reflect the types of businesses that have joined the BRVA. Broad Ripple has many business sectors, such as services, retail, and restaurants and bars. If a sector has BRVA members, then the marketing will be designed to promote them.
Elizabeth also explained that plans are underway to add a representative from the business division to the BRVA board. This will give the business group a better connection to all that the BRVA does for the Village. "The BRVA does a lot, from the whole cultural district designation for Broad Ripple and all of the windfall that has come from that, to the events such as the Street Fest, the Historic Home Tour and the 5K/10K." Elizabeth said that beyond the big events are the ongoing initiatives for beautification, safety, and zoning. Many businesses don't realize how these things help them. "We're hoping that between the marketing we're going to do and the seat on the board, that communication will increase in both directions and all businesses will see a greater value in their BRVA membership."
The business division will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 AM. The meeting place rotates through several local businesses. The next meeting time and place can be found at www.broadripplemerchants.com.