South Charlotte

New group boosts local businesses

One Indian Trail leader is hoping local businesses will catch on to a new energy in the town.

The first meeting of the Indian Trail Business Association is Thursday.

ITBA is not affiliated with the Town of Indian Trail but Council Member Darlene Luther said the idea for the association has been brewing for more than a year.

"I think now is a good time to start because on the town level we're doing so many things to support the community," she said, noting the town's new park and busy community events calendar. "There's this really great energy we haven't seen here in years, in my opinion. I think this will offer that same opportunity for businesses."

Luther said she's seen a "serious need" in the community to bring more businesses to Indian Trail and support the businesses that are here.

She often visits new businesses in town, taking pictures and posting information about them on Facebook.

Luther wants ITBA to create a directory of town businesses and support a "shop local" campaign.

Even people who want to shop in Indian Trail might have a hard time finding a local business because many Monroe addresses actually are in Indian Trail, Luther said. Internet searches for Indian Trail businesses also will pull up Charlotte businesses that serve Indian Trail.

"It takes so much effort to weed and sift through who's here," Luther said. "If you want to support local businesses it needs to be available and easy."

At its first meeting, ITBA will talk about assessing businesses needs and how they can connect with South Piedmont Community College for help.

ITBA also will be a "single voice" for businesses, dispersing information such as town policies that might affect them. Long after Indian Trail relaxed its rules for business signs, Luther said she still talked with owners who didn't know about it.

The new organization already is generating buzz on its Facebook page, which almost 200 people and businesses have "liked."