Although I still hear a lot of the businesses we do business with say that they don’t see the economy recovering — at least not at any pace that’s helping them — based on the number of new businesses that keep opening in our area and the fact that those owners seem to have little or no trouble spending money with us to promote those businesses, I think there is some economic momentum being built in our community.
Every year, it seems, we have a fairly sizable number of advertisers who say, “Hold me out until after the summer, because there’s no one here until the end of August.” Well, even though we did have a few businesses pull their ads this summer, there have been even more coming in to take their place. In fact, I can safely say that, culminating with this issue, the summer of 2013 has been the best — in terms of both advertising revenue and the feedback we’re getting from readers and advertisers alike — we have ever had in our New Tampa and Wesley Chapel issues for June-August!
So, to what do I attribute this success? Several things, actually. The biggest compliment general manager Nikki Bennett and I hear from local businesses pretty much every day is that even with some people achieving outstanding results with their own online and social media advertising, if you’re trying do business in New Tampa and/or Wesley Chapel, other people are telling these businesses that they have to advertise in the Neighborhood News!
That’s pretty awesome for us as it is, but what I also see happening these days that wasn’t happening nearly as much in 2009-12 is that whenever spaces open up in our local shopping plazas, new businesses are quickly coming in to fill those spaces. And, as the newcomers get ready to open, they’re being told by other businesses in the same plazas what marketing they’ve done that has worked. And, more and more of them are being told that we’re about the only thing they’ve done that worked well enough for them to warrant the cost of that advertising — especially because the free business profile articles we have written about them bring in more business than any other form of advertising, marketing or publicity, whether in print or online.
Another factor I’ve also heard is that banks and other lenders are once again lending people money, whether to buy or remodel a home or open a business. Of course, this re-raises concerns about the banking crisis that was at the center of the economic maelstrom that started a few years ago, when the banks were just handing over money to people who had little or no chance to keep up with their payments, as though the money was free candy. And, with still no major new restrictions in place to keep the banks from making themselves fail again, the economic pundits I see on TV all seem to believe that we’re headed for another fall, but that remains to be seen.
In the meantime, plazas in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel that have been suffering for years are suddenly filling up again (see our cover story for one impressive example) and more often than not, those new businesses are turning to us — as they have for nearly 20 years now — to help them make their respective businesses work for them and for their families.
This issue (the biggest Back-to-School issue we’ve ever done, by the way) is once again packed with both ads and features about a variety of local advertisers who have turned to us to help their businesses succeed. I hope, as always, that you will check out those features, visit or utilize those businesses and tell the business owners that you read about them in the New Tampa Neighborhood News!
And remember, school starts in Hillsborough County on Tuesday, August 20, so please drive carefully!