Sisters merchants form new alliance


Last updated 3/26/2024 at 10:45am

A group of businesses, mostly but not exclusively centered downtown, has launched a new Sisters Business Association (SBA).

The group, some two dozen in number, was the inspiration of Shaunette White, owner of High Desert Chocolates at the corner of Cascade and Pine. She serves as SBA’s first president. Josh Smith of Paper Place is Vice President, and Eryn Ross at Sisters Depot is CFO.

Leslie Cutler (Homestar), Casey Boyd (Rescued Living), Sheree Vance (Sisters Apothecary), Stephen Saunders (Avenir Realty), David Moore (Sisters Depot), Beth Pruett (Mountain View Ranch), and Jackson Higdon (Luckey’s Woodsman) all have leadership roles.

The non-profit membership organization says it serves as a networking opportunity and a source of education and shared marketing for all Sisters businesses who wish to join. Common challenges to business success are something they hope to overcome together.

They will engage in activities which they say promote a healthy retail and service climate as well as a downtown that is clean, green, and safe.

When asked if SBA would be in conflict with Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, White told The Nugget: “I don’t think so. I hope not. Many of our members are also members of the Chamber and as far as I know none have given up their Chamber membership.”

White sees the Chamber and Explore Sisters as having different missions than SBA. A key difference is in strategy. “We are more focused on promotion, grass roots marketing,” White said. “It’s not about imagery. We need to drive more shoppers into our businesses. It’s sales and transaction focused.”

The group wants to develop more shopping among locals and not be so tourist dependent. They are looking for uniformity in hours of operations and sales messaging, and finding ways to drive business during the off season.

A number of cross-promotion ideas are on the table whereby stores feed off of each other.

Some of the ways they hope to accomplish this are with regular networking events such as, Sip & Mingle, Sisters Perks, workshops, trainings, education, business partnerships, marketing opportunities, special events, mini holiday campaigns, social media, and even an Annual Award Banquet. They aspire to create ongoing community events and experiences to bring in customers throughout the year and help businesses grow.


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