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 August 1, 1999

Niwot Business Association boosts business, identity

NIWOT — Niwot is a community without the structure of a town, but businesspeople here have their ducks in a row.

They are actively promoting local businesses, preserving the historic district and attracting many new businesses to the area. Much of this work is the result of the Niwot Business

Association (NBA).

“The Niwot Business Association is very active,´ said Selene Hall, who works at Community First Bank in Niwot. “I am the treasurer and on the board. It includes about 90 percent of the Niwot businesses.”

Hall said the association includes not only the businesses but also places like the Grange and the Niwot Historical Society.

The association is a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the economic and commercial well-being of the businesses in the Niwot community service area as recognized by the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. The group also encourages preservation of the Niwot Historic District and focuses on making a positive contribution to the Niwot community.

The association is in its seventh year of operation. It was started in response to the Boulder County commissioners’ request for input from the business community about the streetscaping and sidewalk-refurbishing project in 1992. Originally Gunbarrel businesses were included in the association, but as time passed, it became clear that the Niwot group was motivated to meet and discuss development and how to support each other. Gunbarrel didn’t have quite the solidarity, and eventually Niwot pulled away and formed its own association.

“Our dues are $45 a year, and that goes toward promotions and events,´ said Hall. “We publish a membership directory, and we do after-hours events, usually in the summer. At these events we get a chance to meet each other, network and recommend each other’s business to new people. We always have a presentation at these events. Marcie Holly of the Yankee Doodler bookstore was one of our presenters. She has been in business a long time and is very knowledgeable about what is going on in town.”

The business association is expanding its focus from the original bylaws. “We originally had it in our bylaws to support businesses in the downtown historic district, but we have proposed new bylaws this year,´ said David Jackson, president of the NBA and a local dentist.

“Niwot has expanded with the Cottonwood Shopping Center, so we are now saying we will promote the commercial well-being of all the businesses in the Niwot service area. There has always been a feeling that we were just here to support the historic district, but we want to include all the businesses in Niwot. We also want to preserve the historic environment and to promote and market local businesses.”

Jackson said the association has 60 members and is growing along with the business community. “It is remarkable how fast Niwot has grown,” said Jackson. “We have had 15 new businesses in the past 12 to 18 months. It literally has evolved at a very rapid rate.”

This year the association is working on a business plan and will establish for the first time a marketing committee. “This committee will work solely on marketing businesses,´ said Jackson. “We’ve never had this before.”

The business association plans a Christmas celebration, an Easter egg hunt and a pumpkin-patch celebration. These three events started four years ago and new ones are added from time to time.

Pat Murphy, owner of Niwot Real Estate and a member of the NBA promotions committee, said, “More things are happening all the time, and it’s going to be fun.”

Murphy said that she felt it was also important to promote the businesses that have been in Niwot a long time such as Whistlestop, a gift store owned by Judy Wainer and the Rev. Tailor’s Country Restaurant. She also said places that bring people together were assets to the community such as Treppeda’s Gourmet Market & Catering, the Italian delicatessen, where live music plays one night a week and people can gather.

“The Niwot Business Association is the unofficial chamber of commerce for Niwot,” she said.

NIWOT — Niwot is a community without the structure of a town, but businesspeople here have their ducks in a row.

They are actively promoting local businesses, preserving the historic district and attracting many new businesses to the area. Much of this work is the result of the Niwot Business

Association (NBA).

“The Niwot Business Association is very active,´ said Selene Hall, who works at Community First Bank in Niwot. “I am the treasurer and on the board. It includes about 90 percent of the Niwot businesses.”

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