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7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a

Limited Budget

by Caron Beesley, Community Moderator


When we think of holiday marketing - which can be critical to your business success - we often think only of promotions and discounts. But you don't have to cut your margins or break the bank to stand out from the crowd any more. Here are seven budget-friendly steps you should consider to promote your small business while meeting the needs of your customers this holiday season.


Host an "Open House"

If you operate a retail business, restaurant or any gift-oriented business, why not plan an open house event in mid-November? Use it to showcase holiday season gifts, menus and merchandise. Offer up a glass of warm cider or mulled wine, and really get people into the spirit of the holidays. This will give customers an opportunity to check out your merchandise or holiday menus in advance. You could throw in a special offer or coupon that customers can redeem anytime up until December 24.


Work the Holiday Magic for Your Faithful Customers

Think of ways to generate repeat holiday business from your existing customers. Special offers, sneak previews, free shipping, or secret sales are all great ways to make your faithful customers feel special without breaking the bank.


Feature Product/Services of the Day or Week

I love this low cost marketing idea from Ivana Taylor at SmallBizTrends: why not create 12 days of "your product" or a product or service of the month? Feature and market a product or service every day or every week during the holidays. Think about focusing on high margin products or items your customers don't know about. "Companies in the food business use this strategy a lot," explains Ivana. "Think beer of the month, cheesecake of the month, or coffee of the month... Maid service companies could feature an extra cleaning detail each month, trainers or consultants can offer featured webinars, reports or newsletters."

And don't forget to communicate this themed promotion on your website, social media, email, posters, and flyers.


Offer Gift Certificates

Whatever your business, selling gift certificates, gift cards and e-certificates is a great way to give your customers a convenient gift option. They also help you generate sales well into the New Year, with recipients often spending more than the value of the certificate.


Partner With Other Businesses

It's likely that many of the businesses in your community also rely heavily on the holidays for a good chunk of their income. Is there a way you can partner with complementary stores or restaurants to cross-promote each other's businesses? For example, a cosmetic store and a hair salon might develop a promotion that offers a time-limited discount off each other's respective goods and services, if the customer frequents both. SBA guest blogger Rieva Lesonsky offers more tips in her blog:

Forget Competition It's Time for Co-Opetition.


Get Involved in Community and Charitable Events

Getting out there and supporting charities or sponsoring or getting involved in community events is a great way to generate awareness for your business during the holidays. Even if you don't have the budget to donate large sums of money, think of other ways to get involved, such as offering volunteer services, equipment or even space.


Use Your Website and Social Media to Promote your Holiday Activities

Your online presence, email marketing, and social media networks are a great way to target and connect with local consumers through timely updates and compelling calls-to-action. Develop holiday themes for your email templates and update your website and Facebook profile picture with a festive look.

Then be sure to channel any offers or promotions through social media. You can even offer deals or events exclusively to your social media fans to help drive foot traffic and generate leads. And don't forget to engage in two-way dialogues. Ask your fans about their holiday activities. For example, a restaurant might highlight a holiday dish of the day on Facebook and ask fans to chime in on their favorite dish or items they'd like to see on the menu.


About the Author

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley.


Eggs N' Issues
With Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mackhossmack
     The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Eggs N' Issues is scheduled for Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 8:30 am at the Daphne United Methodist Church Community Life Center. Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack will be the keynote speaker. The Topic will be "Multi Dimensional Enforcement in a Growing County".


    Sheriff Mack will provide updates on the Sheriff's office as well as information on technology, communications and other ways the Sheriff's office is striving to help assist our citizens as Baldwin County continues to grow. Sheriff Mack will also talk about gun safety in the workplace and new regulations on "carry permits".


     Sponsors for the event are NOLA Lending Group, LLC; Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore, PC; Harbor Communications; The Lady's Lawn Service and Workshops Etc!.


     The registration fee is $10, which includes a hot breakfast. To sign up call (251) 928-6387 or 621-8222.

Total Resource Campaign Going StrongTotalResourceCampaign
The Total Resource Campaign has prTotal Resource Drive Winners Week Twooven to be quite active.  Winners of the first week were Caroline Bishop, Centennial Bank; David Cross, Cintas and Millie Sue Hawk, Welcome Friends.
Winners of the second week were Millie Sue Hawk, and Caroline Bishop. They are pictured with Member Value Vice Chair Don Mecke and Ed Hammele, Chairman of the TRC.
 Ribbon Cuttings ribboncuttings
The Eastern Shore Chamber welcomed new members and celebrated recent new beginnings of the following members this past month:  


    Advanced Dental

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Advanced Dental Comfort  with a ribbon cutting at the 24208 US Highway 98, Ste. C, Fairhope. Attending the  event were (left to right, front row): Diane Seifert, chamber ambassador; Kim Daniels, Amber Dickson, Danielle Everett, April Voiles, Nancy Harshberger, Fritz Harshberger, Jennifer Milazzo; Darrelyn Bender, president/CEO ESCoC; Lisa Stogner; and Sally Wagner, chamber ambassador. (Back row): Jeff Ramsland, Larry Hunter, Sean McClay, Cindy Zebyk and Sherry Sullivan, chamber ambassadors; and Kristin Hall. Drs. Fritz Harshberger and Jennifer Milazzo are expanding their services to the Eastern Shore offering dentistry for the entire family and will also offer services such as oral sedation, six month smiles (adult cosmetic braces), and botox/dermal fillers as well as other services. For more information call 251-424-1777 or visit

  Floor Medic

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting for member Floor Medic with at 25606 B County Road 13, Daphne. Attending the event were (left to right):   Sydney Breaux, Aaron Jagel, Chad Breaux, Ginger Breaux, Jonathan Howze, and Diane Siefert, chamber ambassador. Using powerful truck mounted carpet cleaning machines they clean carpet, tile, stone and upholstery. They also use this same equipment to do water extractions. Offering free pickup and delivery of area rugs they hand wash them after a thorough dusting process followed by a rinse and dry in this area's only rug wringing centrifuge. For more information call 625-0008.


D'Olive Family Chiropractic 

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member D'Olive Bay Family Chiropractic with a ribbon cutting at the 29090 U.S. Highway 98, Ste. D, Daphne location. Attending the event were (left to right) Richard Foote and Millie Sue Hawk, chamber ambassadors; Steven Wetzonis, owner; Hannah Littrel; Brenda Carpenter, chamber ambassador and Annette Sebastian. D'Olive Bay Family Chiropractic is dedicated to affordable Chiropractic care for every one whether they have insurance or not. They specialize in treating both children and adults for headaches/migraines; neck, mid-back, hip and low back pain; sciatica; TMJ; and foot, ankle, shoulder or wrist pain. For more information call 621-0240.



The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed new member Cintas with a plaque presentation. Chamber ambassador Sherry Sullivan presented the plaque to David Cross, general manager. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, document management, fire protection, and first aid and safety services for more than 900,000 businesses. Cintas is located at 5679 Commerce Blvd., Ste. E, Mobile. For more information call 443-9762.






Ambassador of the Monthambassador

     Millie Sue Hawk, owner of Welcome Friends, was selected as Ambassador of the Month for August.  Millie Sue received the honor for having participated in numerous Chamber activities.

 A native from "the hills of Tennessee" Millie Sue and her husband, Charles, relocated to Satsuma in 2003 and reside in a water front home on Gunnisson Creek. The couple has five grown children and 13 grand children, ranging from four to 17.

     Millie Sue has had quite a busy career, from working as a payroll clerk for Coca-Cola Bottling Co., telemarketing, working in the insurance business and operating Welcome Friends.

     One of the first action items Millie Sue accomplished when she brought her business was to contact the Chamber.

     "I knew the Chamber would help me get connected," she said.  "I couldn't have asked for a better resource."

     She added that she has seen how valuable the Chamber is to not only the member businesses, but also the entire business community, with a variety of activities and committees.

    When not volunteering for the Chamber Millie and her husband enjoy traveling to Europe, exotic islands and the arctic.


Great Deal to Costa Rica
The Eastern Shore Chamber is collaborating with The Collette Foundation to offer a GREAT deal on a vacation to Costa Rica for 9 days, including transportation, hotel, 14 meals (8 breakfasts, 6 dinners), air taxes and fees/surcharges and lots of fun activities.  The dates are October 12 - 20, 2013.  There will be an optional 3-night Jungle Adventure Post Tour Extension for an additional cost.  The fee is $1,969 per person for triple, $1,999 per person for double, $2,399 per person for single.  This is open to friends, family and the community.  For more information call the Chamber at 621-8222. Visit: Costa Rica Vacation
ESCoC logo

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In This Issue



Community Calendar

 October 2013 
3-5 Alabama Coastal BirdFest, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 625-0814,
3 Business After Hours/Home-Based Expo, 5 - 7 pm, Gulf Coast Wedding Rentals, 1812 US Hwy. 98, Daphne.  An Eastern Shore Chamber event.  621-8222
5&6 Baldwin County Home Builders Assoc. Parade of Homes, 928-9927.
5&6 Grand Festival of Art, downtown Fairhope, ESAC, 928-2228.
6 Baldwin Pops Founder's Day Concert, 6 pm, Henry George Park, Fairhope, 928-3754
6 Fairhope Lions Club Annual Golf Tournament, 1 pm, $60 per player, 626-3343, 990-5118.
9 Flu Shots offered at the James P. Nix Center, 1 Bayou Dr., Fairhope. Cost $15.  Bring Medicare, Medicaid or BCBS cards.
12 Phantasy of the Arts, Fairhope Civic Center, $100 tickets in advance, $125 day of, 990-FEEF.
17  Morning Marketing Meeting, 8 am, Scenic Overlook office. An Eastern Shore Chamber event.  621-8222
17  Young Professionals Social, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, Fairhope Brewing Company, 914 Nichols Avenue, Fairhope. An Eastern Shore Chamber event.  928-6387
19 11th Annual Dancin' in the Streets: Oktoberfest, Fairhope Sunset Rotary, 7 - 10 pm, De La Mar Ave., Fairhope, Adults $25/$30 day of; under 21 $10/$15 day of, 895-6633 or
20 Out of the Darkness Community Walk for American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, reg 1 pm, 455-6453.
26 Polo at the Point, Sonny-Hill-Clearwater Farms in Point Clear, 928-1777,
26 Turkey Trot Fun Run at Lott Park in Daphne.  Benefits Prodisee Pantry.  Register at
27 Kiwanis Club of Fairhope Third Annual Gumbo Championship at Fairhope Pier Park, 11 am - 2 pm. Tickets are $15 per person or $50 for four.  (251) 622-2804 or

Housing Statistics

August 2013

Houses Sold
Average Selling Price
Average Days on Market
Units on the Market
Condos Sold
Average Selling Price
Average Days on Market
Units on the Market
Unemployment Stats
      8/2013     8/2012
AL        6.3%        7.2%  
BC        5.9%        7.2%
US        7.3%        8.2% 




As of 9/30/13


Spanish Fort Town Center

(Cypress Equities)

Delana Young

1800 McFarland Blvd. East, Ste. 341

Tuscaloosa, AL  35404



Rite Aid Pharmacy

Sherry Simmons

6530 Spanish Fort Blvd.

Spanish Fort



FirstLight HomeCare of Mobile & Eastern Shore

Danny Feldman

1203 US Highway 98, Ste. 2D




Cartridge World Daphne

George Harrell

2101 US Highway 98, Ste. C




Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties

Tania Lazzari

24190 US Highway 98




Coldwell Banker Reehl Properties

Kitty Ruzic

24190 US Highway 98




Century 21 Meyer Real Estate

Sarah Kuzma

16585 Gulf Shores Parkway

Gulf Shores, AL  36547



MG World Importers, Inc.

Edward Wolfe

559 Fairhope Ave.




JoAnne Kerr Real Estate, LLC

JoAnne Kerr

106 N. Greeno Rd.




JoAnne Kerr Real Estate

Valeria Conner

106 N. Greeno Rd.




Aging in Alabama

Kyla Kelim, Eaq.

68 N. Bancroft St.




Two Men & A Truck

Leila Holley

1208 B US Highway 98




Southern Capital Services

Wendy Bailey

29000 US Highway 98, Ste. 203B




Renewed Members


Bayside Taxi, Inc.

Taxi Cab service

Member 7 Years


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Alabama

Insurance Company

Member 18 Years


Warren Averett, LLC

Accountants/Certified Public

Member 5 Years


Baldwin County Sewer

Public Sanitary Sewer

Member 4 Years


Mobile Airport Authority - Brookley

Airport/Transportation Facility

Member 4 Years


Mobile Educators Credit Union

Credit Union

Member 16 Years


Brian Snider


Member 5 Years


ASP of Baldwin County

Pool & Spa/Supplies/Services/Maintenance

Member 1 Year


The Law Offices of John W. Beck

Legal Services

Member 1 Year


Village Point Foundation

Civic or Fraternal Organization

Member 15 Years


Bounds Family YMCA

Health & Fitness Center

Member 15 Years


Bayshore Christian School


Member 11 Years


Circuit Judge Carmen Bosch


Member 12 Years


Russell, Thompson, Butler & Houston, LLP

William M. Kell

Accountant/Certified Public

Member 6 Years


Bay Area Food Bank

Civic or Fraternal Organization

Member 2 Years


Keith Air Conditioning Incorporated

Air Conditioning Contractors & Systems

Member 1 Year


America Red Cross Alabama Gulf Coast Chapter

Civic or Fraternal Organization

Member 23 Years


Daphne United Methodist Church


Member 8 Years


Griner Drilling Service

Water Well Drilling

Member 23 Years


Paradise Marine Center

Boat Dealer/Sales

Member 1 Year


Punta Clara Kitchen, Inc.

Candy & Confectionary/Retail

Member 35 Years


Family Security Credit Union

Credit Union

Member 8 Years


Carr Allison


Member 14 Years


National Bank of Commerce


Member 1 Year


Springdale Travel/Group Department

Travel Agency

Member 1 Year


DiRecManagement Incorporated

Collection Agency

Member 3 Years