This morning at 10, Bryan Bank & Trust will have (or has had depending on when you get your paper) a ribbon cutting at it is newest location on Hwy. 17 and Harris Trail.
The new location stirred a bit of conversation. I heard a lot of "do we really need another bank?" kind of talk. Same topics that circulated when we found out that Walgreens had bought the land where Miner’s once stood. Yep, another pharmacy, but I digress - and it is my opinion that the new Bryan Bank is actually quite exciting.
The new location will be a full service location. In that respect, it is not any different than the other location. However, this new building will house the bank’s operation center. This was formerly located in Savannah. The branch office will be located in the front of the building with the operations center occupying the back. This creation is accomplishing two local economy building activities. First, it moves an office location for a Bryan business into Bryan County. Second, it is creating 35 new jobs for the area. Not too bad.
So, they are having a ribbon cutting. Here we go changing topics. Ready? This, coupled with the grand opening being held on August 16 will introduce this new center to the community. This ribbon cutting will be roughly number 15 for the year here in Richmond Hill according to the Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce.
While the Chamber is only involved with the ribbon cuttings of its members, since most area businesses do have a relationship with the Chamber, I think that number is a pretty safe one to go with. The first one was the McDonald’s near Publix. More recently, ribbons have been cut at What’s the Scoop and Mrs. T’s Baked Goods. Along with Bryan Bank and Trust, Thrifty Teacher and Studio E Photography are planning to use the golden scissors. Shirley Heagerty of S&J Bookkeeping has been doing business in Richmond Hill for years and will still inaugurate her new location with a ribbon cutting.
So why all the ribbons? Well, the first answer is easy – publicity. Ribbon cuttings are news worthy events. The Chamber has it down to a science. Media, chamber members and the public at large are always invited. Mayor Richard Davis is almost always there voicing his strong support for the small business community. If he can’t make it, Mayor Pro Tem Floyd Hillard or City Manager Mike Melton is there in his stead. All of these factors create a great chance to get your new store front in the business section of the paper or in a "what’s up section" of other publications.
Another reason is community. In case you didn’t realize it, here on the Hill, we enjoy the idea that we mostly know each other, we mostly like each other and we mostly like to do business with each other. Ribbon cuttings are the commercial version of a house warming party. It is the opportunity to invite the community in and encourage them to feel at home in your business. This is important in a town such as ours. We want to know as consumers that we are welcomed and appreciated. Don’t believe me? Check out the paper’s blog online and see how heated one consumer got when he encountered bad service here in the area. And you can’t blame them. Bad service is never any fun. Most of us would agree that an enjoyable experience is the main reason to become loyal to an establishment. A ribbon cutting can be the first step in that direction. But I would love to hear what you think.
April Groves covers all things business for the Bryan County News. You can send thoughts, press releases, tips and questions you’d like answered to agroves@bryancountynews.