Killingly Business Association rethinks strategy

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Killingly - posted Mon., Feb. 17, 2014

Killingly Business Association members voted in co-presidents Alan Parsons and Peter Deary recently. The co-presidency is a first for the 66-member organization. Parsons, who co-owns The Trink-et Shoppe with his wife Cindy, said the change came about as a way to share the work load and leadership responsibilities. 

Parsons said both men would like to see some changes in the group’s focus and reach. Less than a year ago the KBA was known as Danielson Main Street, Inc. That name didn’t go far enough in welcoming area businesses to join, he said. Deary and Parsons want to reach out to businesses and industries located throughout Killingly, not just those on Main Street in the Danielson borough.

“We want a broader reach,” Parsons said. “Businesses located just outside of the Danielson borough wanted to be a part of it.” They’d also like to welcome some of the big box stores to join the group, including those in the Killingly Commons Shopping Plaza. “We’ll ask,” Parsons said. “It’s not us against them. It’s all of us against the outside. Shop local means shop in your area. You don’t have to travel an hour to get something.”

The shift in strategy doesn’t change the fact that Killingly suffers from an identity problem. Its historic downtown area has always been known as Danielson. It has its own post office and zip code, something Killingly doesn’t have. The Town Council would like to change that, but it’s a process that could take years to come to fruition

Parsons and Deary would also like to tie in business events and promotions to the events being scheduled with the Killingly Recreation Department. That department has events scheduled out a year in advance. They include seasonal festivals, community theater events, classes and programs aimed at all different age levels. KRPD has sponsored the Great Killingly Tomato Festival, Killingly Cooks, Frostival, Easter and Fourth of July celebrations. They are all opportunities for KBA members to get involved.

“It would work well for everyone,” Parsons said. “We would promote them. They would promote us.” The Trink-et Shoppe has sold tickets for plays and programs held at the Community Center for many years. “You never know what people will buy when they come in for a ticket,” Parsons said.

They have briefly discussed ideas about promoting anchor stores in town and holding four meetings a year rather than the monthly meetings. “That kind of a schedule can be tough for mom and pop businesses,” Parsons said.

“Lots of people support the group but don’t come to the meetings. We want their input.” They’ve tossed around the idea of setting up smaller working groups that could meet more regularly than four times a month. “And everyone would be welcome,” Parsons said.

Businesses on Main Street will be facing sewer line and sidewalk construction starting in the spring, something Parsons is certain will negatively impact sales. He’s hoping the KBA and the contractors can work out a mutually agreeable schedule that will minimize disturbances.

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