Archive for December, 2009

Comparison of Healthcare Reform Bills

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

by Pam Bellm, director of legislative affairs

The U.S. Chamber has put together a very interesting comparison between the House and Senate Healthcare reform bills currently being debated. The Senate bill (SB 3590) would cover 94% of legal residents; the House bill (HR 3962) would cover 96% of legal residents. Both bills include government subsidies. The Senate bill mandates almost everyone have health insurance or face fines which begin at $95; the House bill makes it mandatory for everyone to have health insurance or face a penalty of 2.5% of income. Both plans allow waivers for economic hardships.

Follow this link to access the entire comparison. There is a lot of good information put together in an easy read format.

20 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Business

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

by Mary Kurek, Visibility Consulting
1. Boost Customer Service (Have employees wear holiday attire and special holiday nametags. Train them to offer to hold items at the counter. Have them learn to “pay compliments” and jot personal thank you notes on receipts.)

2. Attach your business to a charity during the holidays. Co-promote and give a % back to the charity.

3. Offer holiday refreshments on high traffic weekends.

4. Offer gift wrapping.

5. Offer in-house babysitting or children’s entertainment corner.

6. Create a special rest or seating area of spouses of shoppers.

7. Offer free delivery.

8. Offer shipping.

9. Create a frequent shopper strategy – progressive percentage off or a special gift that graduates in value with each $50 purchase.

10. Hold an open house with specially packaged items and Santa with a “helper elf” to assist younger shoppers.

11. Hold a holiday sweepstakes, raffle, scavenger hunt, guessing game, or contest.

12. Bombard customer senses with visuals, aromas, music, and interactive displays.

13. Show the savings a customer receives at purchase (pointing out dollars saved is a winning idea used by many big department stores).

14. Institute a “check-out strategy” that could include a coupon on the receipt, pre-wrapped stocking stuffers at the register, buy 2/get 3rd free, or pick an ornament for a mystery % off. (Collect names/e-mail addresses)

15. Cross promote – create collaborations with complimentary businesses to include fliers in bags and in-store posters.

16. Have holiday candies at the register to draw attention.

17. Send out special customer Christmas cards with hand-written notes and offer a % off.

18. Send out a holiday newsletter with recipes, stress reduction tips, and local events.

19. Produce your own gift giving guide/catalog.

20. Hold a special customer/employee dinner or brunch where everyone contributes. Great bonding.

Aurora Regional Chamber Note:

Do you have more ideas or suggestions? Let us know. Share them with your fellow Chamber business members.

On behalf of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce team and Board of Directors, we wish all of you a happy, healthy and profitable holiday season… and may 2010 be a wonderful year for our community.