Business

Duluth Merchants Join Together

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About 200 members, both inside and outside of Duluth, are currently a part of the DMA. With a goal of increasing networking among Duluth businesses and community-based services, the DMA works to make people more aware of the businesses around them.

“The DMA has a very supportive feeling. People try to help each other out,” said board of directors member Myra Johnson. At the suggestion of a local businessperson, Johnson attended her first DMA meeting three years ago and was impressed with how friendly and accepting everyone was. Duluth”s mayor, Shirley Lassiter was also at that meeting. “She was so friendly, joking around with everyone, that I thought they were kidding when they called her Mayor # she was too down-to-earth to be the mayor # but she was!”

Approximately 95 percent of the DMA”s members heard about the association through a current member or by word-of-mouth. The DMA relies on its members to spread the word, as the association does not market itself, other than providing newly licensed businesses with information about the DMA.

Every year the DMA sponsors a 5K race with proceeds going to community projects such as the city”s downtown development or Duluth High School. This past March, the DMA sponsored its first annual benefit dinner for the Gwinnett Sexual Assault Center Children”s Advocacy Program. “This is an award-winning center with an award-winning staff servicing all of Gwinnett County, and most people didn”t even know they existed,” said Johnson. “One of our goals is to help businesses strengthen themselves through better marketing and promotion techniques.”

The DMA meets on the first Tuesday of every month, and each meeting highlights a different local business. For more information on the DMA, visit

www.duluthmerchant.com.