Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
By William Kincaid
Celina merchant group formed
Association's goal is to promote city's shopping, organize events, encourage downtown commerce
  A new Celina merchant advocacy group has formed to market the city's shopping, organize special events and discuss ways of encouraging downtown commerce.
The Celina Merchant Association (CMA) is holding monthly meetings open to the public and last month started a new Web site, said CMA organizer Kim Nation, who owns The Potter House downtown.
"We wanted to build a Web site and get people to come to Celina more," she said.
The Web site - www.celinadowntown.com - informs about upcoming downtown events, highlights specials at Celina businesses and provides updates about the downtown revitalization movement.
"This is a win-win situation everybody should be dying to be a part of," she said.
She also wants to combat any negative perceptions associated with Grand Lake.
If anyone from outside the area stumbles upon the Web site, Nation said she hopes they would be inclined to visit Celina and its downtown merchants.
"We want to make it a great experience - a destination," Nation said, later adding that Celina has the potential to aspire to the likes of Put-In-Bay.
CMA meetings are held at 8 a.m. the first Tuesday of every month at The Potter House, 108 S. Main St., and are open to the public.
Business and merchant leaders discuss the local economy and issues pertaining to commerce, such as city council members forthcoming decision about what type of parking to install downtown as part of the Main Street reconstruction project.
"It's a wealth of information for merchants," Nation said. "We want to have a voice."
Asked about her thoughts on the economic future, Nation said she is very optimistic, pointing out that property owners are investing in their buildings along Main Street and additional downtown parking is planned. She also commented on the gorgeous architecture of many of the downtown buildings and the lake.
"We're always looking for new people," she said about CMA membership.

How to get involved:
What: Celina Merchant Association (CMA) formed
Why: To market city's shopping, plan special events, encourage downtown commerce
Meetings: 8 a.m. first Tuesday of each month at The Potter House, 108 S. Main St. Meetings are open to any member of the public
To join/more info: Go to CMA Web site at www.celinadowntown.com or call 419-584-1705 or e-mail thepotterhouse@bright.net.
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