After a successful debut of Supper Sessions on the Avenue, Mt. Airy USA has a new outlook on a favorite tradition — and a new look for the Business Association of Mt. Airy. Originally launched in 2012, BAM provides tiered levels of services designed to help grow and promote local businesses. Any business can join BAM, from established brick-and-mortar storefronts to home-based telecommuters and mobile contractors. If your business operates in the neighborhood, we welcome you to join the retooled BAM.
Our official relaunch party is Nov. 18, but even before that, we urge you to join us for a workshop focused on important changes to federal overtime payroll law (details below).
When Mt. Airy USA swapped out one blowout night of Street Fare in favor of four easier-going evenings in Supper Sessions on the Avenue, it had everything to do with local business. Feedback from Mt. Airy business owners led us to reconsider bringing in 50 food trucks to set up in front of our restaurants and retailers. With Supper Sessions, pictured at top, local establishments became the main event. And with each week, we saw an increase in attendance — and an increase in business on what’s a typically slow night. That was the goal of Supper Sessions, and that’s the goal of BAM —to shine a spotlight on our local businesses and give them the support they need to grow.
A trio of benefits highlight BAM’s new features, which range from à la carte services to all-inclusive packages:
Networking: Physical events like member mixers and happy hours, along with membership in an online networking platform, will grow member-to-member communication.
Technical assistance: Back-office support — accounting, payroll, bookkeeping, HR — is often the most valuable benefit BAM can provide to new members, and our social media strategies will help you plan for a broad reach across changing platforms.
Business design and development: Businesses need strategies for growing and developing in an innovative and competitive way. One-on-one consultations with Mt. Airy USA’s Business Services team are available under this benefit, and we’re also happy to create a custom package of services for BAM members.
As part of the BAM offering, Mt. Airy USA also hosts a series of workshops, such as certification of women- and minority-owned businesses, and we’ve got a big one scheduled this month:
On Dec. 1, updates to the Department of Labor’s overtime rules take effect regarding “white collar” overtime exemptions. The new rules, which raise the salary threshold indicating eligibility from $455 per week to $913, are likely to affect many small businesses. The revisions also create new penalties and fines that can add up quickly if left unchecked. Mt. Airy USA’s CFO Aliyah Bonaparte will lead the workshop to ensure that businesses properly classify their employees, maintain immaculate employee files and otherwise avoid waving red flags that would draw the attention of the IRS or Department of Labor. This important 90-minute workshop is free to BAM members, with two dates to choose from: Friday, Nov. 11, at 8 a.m., and Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. Both workshops are at the Work Mt. Airy coworking space, 6700 Germantown Ave., lower level. Sign up at bit.ly/payroll2016.
Finally, all BAM members will be included in an updated business directory, which will be featured on a retooled Go Mt. Airy website coming late this year.
The revamped Business Association of Mt. Airy will be managed by Nikia Hill, Mt. Airy USA’s business design strategist. Nikia has an MBA in strategic design from Philadelphia University and joined Mt. Airy USA staff over the summer after facilitating business-model canvassing sessions for the Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub last spring. Nikia designs services, systems and strategies to help businesses thrive, and has over 20 years of experience leading, creating and executing strategic business initiatives for entrepreneurs, businesses and non-government organizations.
For more information on levels of membership and how to join BAM, contact Nikia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 215-844-6021, ext. 227.
And plan to join us at Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, for a BAM members happy hour and relaunch party. Meet the friendly new faces behind the Business Association of Mt. Airy and find out more about a holiday incentive program we’re cooking up.
Weavers Way member Brad Maule is Mt. Airy USA’s communications specialist. Send him your thoughts on Supper Sessions on the Avenue — what you liked, what you thought could be better, other suggestions— at email@example.com.