Clarks Summit mulls merchant banners

First Posted: 1/2/2015

CLARKS SUMMIT — At the Clarks Summit Borough Council special meeting Dec. 30, borough manager Virginia Kehoe introduced banner planner Matt Cottengim, of Community Showcase Banners, who presented council members with the idea of hanging banners around the borough.

Cottengim has been working with Community Showcase since August and grew up in a village outside of Rochester, N.Y., where he remembers seeing village banners similar to Clarks Summit’s holiday banners.

“My appreciation for them is that I always knew when I was home because they really made a nice type of appeal,” he said.

Cottengim recently accompanied the company’s president during a week of training and met 20 business owners who have been part of the city of Scranton’s banner program.

“For the business owners, it’s a value to them to make the community look nice as a whole and for them to have their name presented as a sponsor of the community banner,” he said.

Cottengim said the city of Scranton has had success with this program, and that visitors and residents have been able to interact with businesses through the banner program. He explained how this is possible via a link on the city’s website for visitors to connect digitally with the local businesses.

Cottengim also mentioned a QR (quick response) code that can be put on the windows of local businesses that visitors can scan with their smart phones and receive rewards. He said that to date 100 businesses in Scranton have signed up with the QR code system with more responses continuing.

Clarks Summit Borough Council President Gerrie Carey asked Cottengim about installation of the banners. Cottengim said that normally municipalities intall the banners but Community Showcase has a paid staff to do that.

“Everything with the project, we do all the leg work,” he said. “It’s a turnkey operation.”

Clarks Summit has banners for spring, summer and Christmas during which time the Community Showcase banners would not be able to be displayed.

“We can work around those parameters to see what poles are accessible,” said Cottengim.

“I like the idea that we have different banners for each season with the business people’s names on them,” said councilman Herman Johnson.

Cottengim said banner purchase plans for business owners cost $695 for the year, or less for a shorter period of time.

“If we are going to do this, we have to plot this out so we have them on all the main drags, where the traffic’s coming into town, so people can see. I like the idea. I think it will help out the merchants,” said Johnson.

Showing council a map of Clarks Summit, Cottengim suggested putting banners above downtown streets such as State Street, Grove Street, Winola Road and Depot Street.

Cottengim is planning to return to Scranton in May for renewals of the Scranton Project.

“That will be the time slot we would want to begin the sign ups for the Clarks Summit banner campaign,” he said.

Cottengim said the process from signing up businesses to installing the banners should take about five months.

Jenkins said he would like to put this banner project in council’s regular meeting agenda this month.

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