CHANNAHON – A new business group in the Channahon-Minooka area is gathering business owners to work together to push buying local.
The group, Three Rivers Business Alliance, began about a year ago, said Gina Doyle, financial representative for Country Financial and president of the alliance.
“It’s been slowly growing,” she said.
With about 30 members so far, it is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization, Doyle said. The plan is, by Jan. 1, to be able to accept applications and dues.
The mission of the alliance is to be a “group of local business owners dedicated to making the greater Chanooka area a destination for consumers. Our group supports and assists other Chanooka businesses and organizations through business-to-business networking and promotes a buy-local philosophy through community involvement,” according to a news release from the organization.
The alliance calls itself TRBA for short and is a networking group to share referrals with each others’ clients, friends and neighbors, Doyle said.
“We are tired of seeing empty strip malls,” she said. “More businesses in town really help the community.”
Treasurer Brian Wielbik, market president of First Community Financial Bank in Channahon, noted the group is not competitive with the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce & Industry, but the organizations work together to promote local businesses. The chamber is a member of TRBA, he said.
“It keeps us in the know with what businesses in the community are doing,” Wielbik said.
The group meets monthly and alternates each month between meeting during the day and at night.
The next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Channahon Lanes. A board for the organization also meets monthly.
Beginning in January the meetings will feature speakers that will help members gain knowledge, Doyle said. Also at each meeting, the members present give a small commercial about their business.
The fee will be $100 a year for membership. Funds will go toward charity work and expenses.
Members of TRBA have full voting rights on all decisions the organization makes.
The alliance accepts one business from each business category, such as one restaurant or one real estate agent. Doyle said new members are being recruited to fill open categories.
The alliance’s board consists of five members: President Gina Doyle, Vice President Tom Powell of Powell Landscaping, Treasurer Brian Wielbik, members Becky Lennon of Channahon Rental and Donna Gray of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell.
A website for the group is expected to launch in 2014 and will have direct links to the members’ websites.
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