The mission of the Blanco Chamber of Commerce is to be the heart and hub of economic development and tourism in Blanco. Our job is to serve our members by doing all we can to enhance the economic vitality of the town, which translates to success for your business. It is critical that we work together toward this end, especially considering our current economic climate.
The emergence of the lavender industry, the Blanco Lavender Festival, and our designation as the Lavender Capital of Texas ® has played a significant role in increased revenues for the city of Blanco (sales tax revenues are up almost 24% since 2004, compared to 8% from 2000-2004), hotel revenues are up almost 60% (compared to 39%), and property values have increased as well. The best news is that many of our members have reported increased revenues as well.
The Blanco Chamber has definitely seen an increase in traffic in our visitor center, hits on our website, and email inquiries. The tourism market loves lavender and thousands each year are finding their way to Blanco from all over the country. Once here, they are charmed by the friendliness of our town, the simple beauty of the river, the shops on our historic square, and all of the other attributes that make us special. We’ve discovered that many, as a result, choose to relocate here and/or encourage others to visit.
We are continually striving to see how to serve you better and to get more exposure for our town and more customers for your business. One thing we know to be a proven economic development strategy is to maximize what’s already working. This is the main reason that our Board of Directors has decided to take the Lavender Capital of Texas® brand to the next level. Thus the advent of our newest event: Blanco Lavender Lights – Celebrate a Hometown Christmas! (For more information, please reference the article on page A5 of the Oct 22 issue of BCN).
Our purpose for this event is three-fold. First, we have been looking for a unique angle that would get people to stop and shop here during the Christmas season and to “get us back on the map” for the Texas Hill Country Christmas Light Trail. In the past, Blanco’s participation on this trail brought many visitors, and we want to offer them something that will inspire them to come back again and again. Second, we set out last year to reignite the traditional Courthouse lighting, and to give Blanco residents more reasons to show up, and more “hometown” memories to create with their families. It was a great success! This is the next step in building that event. (We have more in store in upcoming years)! Finally, we want to test some ideas for a “shop local” and a “visit all of the shops” campaign, and believe that this event lends us a great opportunity to do that.
What can I do to participate?
For this event, we invite you to participate in several ways (if you are a merchant on or near the square, you may have already received a visit from Alan Cooper, who is coordinating entertainment and other incentives with you). Please call or email our office for more information on the following:
Purchase purple lights to decorate your office or home (call us to order at bulk discount prices).
Enter the Keep Blanco Beautiful and Yucca Garden Club Christmas Light (yard of the month) contest.
Participate in our “Shop Local” campaign – 4 full page ads in the BCN (from Nov 19 – Dec 10) featuring your business and the unique gifts and gift cards that can be purchased in Blanco … from YOU!
Join us on the Square over Thanksgiving Weekend – vendors, gift-making and entertainment all weekend, with special customer incentives on Nov 28, which we are dubbing “Purple Friday” (wear something purple)! The Chamber will be serving wine and cheese Friday evening and would love to have you come as a guest or a co-host!
Shop Blanco for Christmas this year (keep sales tax revenues in Blanco, and support Chamber Members and other local merchants)!
Tell everyone you know about Blanco and invite them to join us this Christmas Season to get “wrapped in the glow” of lavender and white lights (I’ll be sending out an email next week that you can forward to your friends, family and customer base).
Volunteer in the office for a few hours during the month of November.
In the bigger picture, we invite all of you to embrace this aspect of Blanco’s identity, to enjoy the benefits of Blanco’s increased tourism, and to resource us for more ideas on how to tap in to the opportunities at hand all year long for your business.
The Blanco Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors thanks you for the difference you and your business make in Blanco.