September 23, 2014

Williston Area Business Association launches

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The Williston Area Business Association website (www.willistonaba.com) includes a member business directory, job postings, volunteer opportunities and member-to-member deals.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

As Williston gets closer to its 250th anniversary, its founders would hardly recognize it. The town has grown into a bustling center of business and entrepreneurship, with approximately 1,400 businesses.

Now, those businesses have a new platform to connect with each other.

Williston Publishing and Promotions has announced the launch of the Williston Area Business Association. The Williston Observer, which is owned by the same company, is WABA’s media sponsor.

“WABA is a much-needed local organization to meaningfully connect businesses and organizations in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Williston Publishing owner Marianne Apfelbaum. “It’s a hybrid of a business association, a chamber of commerce and something new.”

Apfelbaum said that WABA’s structure is built around concepts that business owners said were important to them.

“We took the time to get a lot of feedback from business owners before we put together the membership benefits,” she said. “We’ll be constantly evolving to meet the needs of our members, based on their needs and input.”

“This is very much a grassroots concept,” said Sue Duke, an account executive with Williston Publishing. “WABA is a ‘for the people, by the people’ group, where everybody’s contribution makes the entity.”

Before its official launch on Nov. 15, WABA had more than 20 members, including restaurants, gyms, banks, nonprofits and more.

“I think it’s really important to be a part of the fabric of the community and participate as much as we can,” said Cindy Morgan, marketing director at New England Federal Credit Union, one of WABA’s community partners. “It’s a great connection with the business community in Williston.”

Mary Steiger, president of PT360, one of WABA’s community sponsors, said the opportunity to network with local businesses, and possibly “collaborate on some activities to benefit the town” is one of the most valuable benefits for her business.

“Networking face-to-face, knowing people and getting to know the value of other businesses is huge,” Steiger said. “I’d much rather patronize someone in my community who may offer a talent or a business option than, say, someone who doesn’t live nearby.”

Aside from an online platform where business owners can promote their business to members and consumers (www.willistonaba.com), WABA will host four member events per year, two networking-focused and two informational workshops.

“Everyone said time is of vital importance, and they don’t want to have to spend a lot of time to reap WABA’s benefits,” Apfelbaum said. “WABA offers concrete, meaningful, useful and substantial benefits and ways to connect that don’t take a lot of business owners’ time.”

The impetus to start WABA came from Apfelbaum’s own experience as a business owner.

Apfelbaum and her husband, Paul, started Williston Publishing nearly 20 years ago and have lived in the community even longer.

“We have deep roots in this community and we want to help it grow in a positive, community-oriented way,” she said.

Apfelbaum said she noticed a missing resource in the community.

“We felt there was a lack of a more local way to connect with and promote businesses,” she said. “The chambers are great, but they’re a different animal. This is just a more powerful way to interact.”

As a media sponsor, the Observer will publish monthly WABA updates in its business section, The Hub, as well as run weekly promotional ads.

“A major benefit is that through the partnership with the Observer, we’ll be getting exposure for the organization on a weekly basis,” Apfelbaum said.

WABA membership is open to businesses and non-profit organizations in Williston and surrounding communities. Having a way to connect with other business owners and professionals will not only create a sense of community, it will help individual businesses be more successful, Apfelbaum said.

“When you get to know people outside of the normal realm of an office and you learn about them, it fosters goodwill, it fosters a willingness and desire to help their businesses succeed so that everybody wins.”

For more information, visit www.willistonaba.com or call Marianne Apfelbaum at 872-9000, ext. 18.

 

NEW WABA MEMBERS

 

Community Partners

New England Federal Credit Union

NEFCU is a member-owned credit union serving communities in six counties in northwestern Vermont.

802-879-8790

www.nefcu.com

 

Oil ‘N’ Go

Locally owned, Oil ‘N’ Go offers “Vermont’s Original Oil Change,” as well as full car care services, with locations in South Burlington and Essex Junction.

802-497-1601

www.oilngo.com

 

Community Sponsors

PT360

PT360 is Vermont’s first physical therapy cooperative, providing an array of treatment techniques.

802-657-7990

www.pt360coop.com

 

Williston Insurance

Williston Insurance has been serving the Williston Community since 1967.

802-879-0119

 

Members:

Adams Apple Orchard & Farm Market 

Adams is a local apple orchard and market providing produce, annuals, Vermont products and more.

802-879-5226

www.adamsfarmmarket.com

 

Allstate Insurance: John Coburn Agency

John Coburn Agency provides sales and service of all Allstate Insurance products.

802-658-7800

http://agents.allstate.com/john-coburn-williston-vt.html

 

Alzheimer’s Association, Vermont

The Alzheimer’s Association is a non-profit dedicated to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease, and supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s.

802-316-3839

www.alz.org/vermont/

Bagels Plus

Bagels Plus is a family owned and operated bagel bakery and café.

802-878-3131

www.bagelsvt.com

 

Blodgett Bath Showplace

Blodgett Bath Showplace supplies kitchen and bath products, as well as design consulting services.

802-864-9831

www.blodgettsupply.com

 

Carol Audette

A real estate professional since 1985, Carol Audette is a lifelong resident of the area and a certified residential specialist.

802-846-8800

www.carolaudette.com

 

Greater Burlington YMCA

The Greater Burlington YMCA provides programs and events to nurture kids, promote healthy living and foster community.

802-862-9622

www.gbymca.org

 

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity ReStore 

The ReStore sells donated home goods and building supplies to raise money for local Habitat for Humanity projects.

802-872-8726

www.vermonthabitat.org

 

Guy’s Farm and Yard

Guy’s Farm and Yard, locally owned and operated, offers pet, farm and yard supplies with locations in Williston, Morrisville and Montpelier.

802-878-5112

www.guysfarmandyard.com

 

Monty’s Old Brick Tavern

A full-service restaurant offering dinner, Sunday brunch and live music, and is part of the Vermont Fresh Network.

802-316-4262

www.montysoldbricktavern.com

 

Natural Provisions

Natural Provisions is a grocery store providing natural and organic products, produce and prepared foods.

www.naturalprovisions.com

802-876-1400

NBT Bank

NBT Bank is an independent community bank with Vermont locations in Williston and Burlington.

802-879-0809

www.nbtbank.com/vermont

 

Northland Janitorial

Northland Janitorial works to make Vermont greener and cleaner one building at a time.

802-878-3899

www.northlandjanitorial.com

 

The RehabGym

The Rehab Gym is a specialty gym offering preventative and rehabilitative care.

802-876-6000

www.rehabgym.com

 

Simply Divine Café

Simply Divine Café serves light fare breakfast and lunch and provides catering services. 

802-497-0336

www.simplydivinecafe.com

 

Triad Temporary Services

Triad provides short-term and long-term staffing services for a broad spectrum of occupations.

802-864-8225

www.triadtemp.com

 

TCE—Trudell Consulting Engineers

TCE is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in site/civil engineering services. 

802-879-6331

www.tcevt.com

 

Williston Community Food Shelf

The Williston Community Food Shelf is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating hunger in the town of Williston and surrounding areas.

802-735-6303

www.willistonfoodshelf.com

 

Williston Workwear

Williston Workwear, locally owned and operated, provides business clothing, medical uniforms, outdoor gear, footwear and more.

802-871-5749

www.willistonworkwear.com

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