R .E .S .U .L .T .S

When we first announced our idea to form a business organization and put out a magazine, we received both encouragement and skepticism. Most people liked the idea, but said there was no way we could get the organization off the ground and a magazine published in less than five weeks. They were also skeptical about getting the residents to shop in Tolland. The conventional wisdom says,”Tolland is a bedroom community; people live here, but they go elsewhere to work, shop and be entertained. Changing people’s habits is near impossible.”


In less than five weeks, the April issue of Tolland Monthly was published and Business Co-op had over 20 members. Today we have more than doubled our original size, and are growing as fast as we are able to talk to business people.

Tolland Monthly has created an identity for Tolland. Every week, residents tell us of discovering a business for the first time. We also continue to be told that individuals had no idea there were so many things happening in Tolland.

Thanks to all the businesses and organizations who have helped us, the program is working. We will work to keep moving forward. The more members we have, the more we will be able to do.

Provide a Website with Unlimited Potential

We have established a website, www.businessco-op.net. Business Co-op members are listed with a link to their e-mail address and/or website. Information about Business Co-op and the current edition of Tolland Monthly are also displayed. How the website evolves is up to our members. It could evolve to a virtual mall with e-commerce.

Publish Tolland Monthly
This is the magazine that’s bringing us all together. After the first issue of Tolland Monthly, we received over 100 very positive notes, e-mails and phone calls. Never in our 20 plus years in advertising and marketing have we seen such a response. People will write to complain, but usually don’t write to compliment. All the civic organizations have gotten great response to the articles in Tolland Monthly. The Superintendent of Schools and the Town Manager have used Tolland Monthly to provide information to the public. Our combination of advertising and editorial is enabling the residents to get to know the business people of Tolland. We have also been pleasantly persistent in urging the residents to “think and shop Tolland first”.

T .H .E . .P .R .O .G .R .A .M

In o rder to reach these goals, we have to bring the various elements of the town together. Our program has enabled businesses, the town government, the scool system, the various organizations in town and the residents to communicate more openly and exchange ideas. Very positive things are happening in Tolland. Here’s how the system works:


Prove the Necessary Information
We will fax or e-mail agendas and minutes for all meetings of the Town Council, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Boards of Appeals and the Economic Development Commission to members that request them. As of October 1, 2000, agendas for these meetings will be on our website. For example, we have kept our members updated during the recent hearing on changes to the Zoning Regulations.

Any issue can be submitted to us by any member or town official. We will present both sides of the issue to our membership through fax or e-mail. We ask our members to vote and submit any additional comments. We take a proactive approach. We not only want to point out areas of concern, we also want to propose a solution to the problem. At one Zoning hearing we presented four pages of recommendations.

Business Co-op Starts Scholarship Fund

For the past three issues, we have printed “one dollar” on the cover of Tolland Monthly. Everyone in Tolland will still receive Tolland Monthly in the mail for free. The reason for the “one dollar” charge is that we are making the magazine available to people outside of Tolland. We will be selling them at locations where visitors to our town will most likely shop, such as Anderson Automotive, NAPA Auto Parts and the Tolland County Jail Museum.


All revenues received by Business Co-op LLC for these sales will go into a sperated account called the Business Co-op Scholarship Fund. We hope to provide a $1,000 scholarship to a Tolland High School Senior that intends to major in business. Any residents who would like to assist us can send a $10 donation as a volunteer annual subscription. Checks should be made out to Business Co-op Scholarship Fund.

Business Fair Postponed

Unfortunately, The Business Co-op has had to postpone the Business Fair that was tentatively scheduled for mid-February. While there were approximately 30 businesses showing interest in participating, less than 20 could arrange to attend on any given weekend. We would, however, like to reschedule this event for sometime in the spring, possibly March.

However, we are considering changing the concept of the Business Fair slightly to make it an outdoor or on-the-green event in May or June, tied in with other activities in town. In order to get things going, we really need to hear from all Tolland businesses.
Please let us know if you are interested by January 15, 2001. If we are to hold the Business Fair, we need a commitment from you. We will also entertain any ideas you may have regarding the event. Please help us make the Business Fair come to life this spring. Events like these can only serve to strengthen and promote not only your business, but the community as well. Thanks in advance for your reply and cooperation.