The Pine Bluff Small Business Association formed three years ago with three original members who met at Shannon’s Restaurant in Dollarway. Déjà Vu Upscale Consignment owner Trisha Shank, Brumett and Associates owner Bill Brumett, and Shannon’s Restaurant owner Shannon Carruthers sat down to discuss how to bring forth a way to not only help local small business owners be able to meet and associate with each other, but to also raise awareness in the community about shopping local, and how it can help boost the local economy.

David Maddox, owner of Father and Son’s Clothier in Jefferson Square, is one of the newest members of the Pine Bluff Small Business Association. He said that networking has been one of the top benefits of being part of the association. “Being able to share ideas and coming together to come up with ideas for future marketing, being able to have open houses, and other things like that,” he said.

Maddox said that he has seen an increase in sales since becoming a member less than two months ago, but he also attributes the uptick to Go Forward Pine Bluff and the projects it has been doing to help revitalize the Pine Bluff area.

“With the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative, it has created a new level of excitement,” Maddox said. “People are excited about new things and the changes with the initiative that they are hoping to see. I have seen an increase in sales since joining the Pine Bluff Small Business Association. I have had other members do some referrals for me.”

Any small business owner in Jefferson County may become a member of the Pine Bluff Small Business Association by calling Krystal Stafford at (870) 534-6977. Membership dues are $50 per year. The members meet three times each month – once for breakfast, once for lunch, and once for an evening “mix and mingle” at one of the local businesses.