Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

Naturally Meramec to discuss marketing at Oct. 20 regional meeting

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Connie Willman or Roxie Murphy at (573) 265-2993

ST. JAMES­­—Small business owners will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of marketing by attending the Naturally Meramec Consortium (NMC) meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 at 4 Industrial Drive, St. James.

NMC is a collection of small agriculture/tourism/culinary business owners who work together to find ways to market and use each other’s products and services. The group will host MRPC’s Executive Director Bonnie Prigge and Senior Community Development Specialist Lyle Thomas as guest speakers to discuss all aspects of marketing, including customers, strategies and planning.

“We will discuss identifying different customer groups and strategies for marketing to the different groups,” said Prigge. “We will also discuss how we can market each others’ businesses, and that is part of the benefit of the consortium. ”

The presentation will be followed by a website discussion, led by Connie Willman, NMC administrator with MRPC, to discuss online elements businesses would like to market.

“This website will be interactive, allowing users to visit businesses and events along a specified route, increasing the marketing opportunities for the regions businesses,” Willman said.

A brochure will also be produced that promotes consortium members.

“This and future consortium meetings will include discussions centered around needs of the agriculture/tourism/culinary businesses, including additional markets, financing, food hubs, training, education and business planning, among others,” Willman said.

Willman has led discussions at eight county meetings and one regional meeting. At each county meeting, she asked business owners to share their small business needs and had participants prioritized those needs at the regional meeting in August. The results will be shared at the October meeting.

“Now that the needs have been identified and prioritized, the consortium will begin working on addressing those needs,” Willman said.

NMC is in its early stages of organization and has already held initial meetings in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties. Nearly 600 agriculture/tourism/culinary-related businesses in the eight-county Meramec Region have been identified. Ranchers, farmers, wine-producers, restaurant owners and lodging entities will meet together regularly to work on ways to promote and use the products of the other consortium members, such as a farm tour event with featured wines, cheeses and meat products from other agriculture/tourism businesses in the region.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties andtheir respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion.