The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce has come up with a new way to get the community excited about small businesses by creating videos called “Don Around Town.”
“You could be a business that has been around for 30 years and people know you are there, but people can forget you because we are so used to going by a place,” said chamber President Barbra Berkowitz. “We are trying to get businesses to not rest on their laurels and understand that it’s time to get back out and let people know you’re open and in business.”
The chamber was started in 2016 to help local businesses network and expand while learning new ways to create a better business. When a business joins the chamber, it is offered seats at learning events as well as chamber ribbon cuttings at its location.
“Don Around Town” was started by Berkowitz and Katherine Falcone, a councilwoman and the chamber’s chairwoman. They realized that during COVID many businesses struggled. One that stuck out to them was Cross Keys Coach, due to a downturn at the limo service brought on by the pandemic.
“One of the businesses that really got hit was the limo companies,” Berkowitz explained. “Katherine said it would be cute to do something with the limo company, and that’s how the idea ‘Don Around Town’ came about. We went from there and we decided to make it fun and silly.”
Falcone and Berkowitz started creating silly skits and videos to post on social media and the chamber website, highlighting some of the small businesses around town.
“‘Don Around Town’ is still highlighting the businesses at this period in time. Our goal as a chamber is to help the businesses not only survive, but thrive,” Falcone said.
The videos begin with introductions to the small-business owners and continue with a look around their properties. Some videos include a short peek at 13th Child Brewery, where owner Steve Macnamara explains how he brews beer. Another video shows Maximum Refund, where owner Sharon Whitehurst talks about tax time.
“I think the videos help people learn new things about the businesses and to help people realize it is open and ready to serve,” Berkowitz noted.
Businesses who want to participate in a “Don Around the Town”’ video can email Berkowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org. The business does not have to be part of the chamber to participate, but according to Berkowitz, the group always looks for new partnerships.
The videos can be found on the chamber Facebook page as well as its website https://www.williamstownchamberofcommerce.org/don-around-town.