It seems like the paralysis of the last few months is wearing off. In an unofficial poll of Floyd Chamber of Commerce members last week, it appeared that most of the people I spoke to were cautiously confident about the immediate future.
Business traffic has been steadily picking up over the past few weeks as customers adjust to the new realities of life in a down economy.
For most local businesses, customer traffic is still below normal but these business owners have found ways to keep on promoting while cutting costs in every way possible.
The Floyd Chamber of Commerce held its monthly Business After Hours on Wednesday, March 18th. The event was co-hosted by Anne Vaughan Designs and the Salon and Day Spa at the Cross Creek Complex on Rte 221. The place was packed and the food was delicious. I was having such an enjoyable time that I almost forgot to take pictures.
Most local business owners work long hours and they want to get home to their families when they close up shop. These business after hours events offer an opportunity to socialize and to do business at the same time.
This is a come-as-you-are affair in Floyd and you will see investment bankers in suits talking with artisans and farmers in jeans. The conversations were animated and most of those attending were pleasantly surprised at the way business was picking up recently.
No one seemed to feel that we were out of the woods yet, but most said that they were more confident than in previous months. This tracks closely with my own observations at Floyd Custom Framing.
I am seeing an upsurge in orders for custom framing. The projects are as imaginative and varied as ever, but we are putting increased attention on keeping costs down through use of recycled materials and special buys. I find it encouraging that customers still value incorporating art into their lives even in the face of economic austerity.
It seems that customers still value the finer things in life but they are more likely to buy goods and services that offer them an unusually good deal. I'm not sure this means cutting prices to the bone. It seems that providing an unusually good customer experience with excellent pricing is a good business practice in hard times.
The local businesses that do both are still busy.