Welcome to the New & Improved:
“Augusta’s Choice: Tour of Augusta”
The Tour of Augusta for this week consisted of a mix of businesses and a mix of non profits. The first business on this weeks tour was New Fire Social Media. A team of social networking geniuses.
Social media isn’t about marketing, it’s about the conversation. And that is exactly the message that New Fire Social Media wants to get across. The team at New Fire, spearheaded by Jeremy Mace, a local graphic & web designer, took some time to sit down with me and discuss the philosophy of effectively reaching customers on their level. Jeremy candidly states “Conventional marketing doesn’t reach everyone.” And that statement oozes truth. The services that New Fire Social Media offers range from web design, education, social business implementation, mobile marketing/messaging. “The businesses that we work with are great at what they do, but they may not be sure how to utilize Social Media to their business advantage, that’s where we step in.” There’s a glint in Jeremy’s eye as he continues on about how Social Networking can reach consumers and how to turn them into customers. With Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, and the range of tools provided by Google, New Fire is sure to be at the forefront in the CSRA to walk businesses through the set up, implementation, and execution of these services to better your business’ reach. Jeremy will be one of the featured panelists for the North Augusta Social Networking Site Seminar, happening August 19, 2009. For assistance with set up and operation of the variety of services mentioned, or even assistance with having your website designed or revised, contact New Fire Social Media and as always, tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you!
My next stop was deeper downtown with the team responsible for the Garden City Rescue Mission, located at 828 Fenwick Street. The Mission was founded by Travis Sharpe in April of 2001. After graduating Bible School, he was driving by the Salvation Army and was given an idea when he saw the line up of the homeless in our city lined up at the soup kitchen. He had started going to convenience stores and gathering supplies like razors, deodorant, soaps, etc and making little supply bags. After he had gathered enough, he would go out and distribute them to the men that were in line. Over time he acquired a large enough facility capable of providing the less fortunate with shelter, a place to eat, shower, learn, and get back on their feet. The Garden City Rescue Mission was born. The rescue houses approximately 50 men at a time, in a 90 day program that feeds them, aides them in finding work, & provides a safe environment for them to get back on their feet. I was given a tour of the facility by John, one of the primary associates at the Rescue. “Sometimes, there are men that step through these doors with absolutely nothing, just the clothes on their backs.” The Rescue has a clothing area that will, if needed, provide those without additional clothing begin rebuilding. At times it may seem like a daunting task, as the Rescue is not a government funded organization. They rely on private donations and acts of kindness. And they’ve extended their reach outside of the men in our city that have lost everything. John continues our tour, “The facility now assists up to 10 women & children now in our upstairs area near the chapel.” Due to the new addition, the rescue will not house any registered sex offenders to protect the women & children living upstairs. With the worsening economy, more and more people in our area are finding themselves on hard times. And the Garden City Rescue Mission is there to help get them back on their feet.
My next stop took me to the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (or NACA for short), located at 3744 Walton Way Ext. I had the pleasure of taking the time to sit down with new Executive Director of the Augusta Branch, Nick Roberson. Nick has been with NACA for a short period of time, but has already hit the ground running. “NACA is first and foremost an advocacy program.” stated Nick about the misconceptions of NACA’s purpose. NACA was started in 1988 by a Hotel Worker’s Union, Local 26, creating the first ever housing trust fund. And has grown nationwide to deliver America’s best mortgage program. And they are here to help anyone that needs them. The goal of NACA is to defend, educate, and work with those who have fallen prey to predatory lending practices, or have fallen on harder times that has caused their mortgages to become unpayable. And they do it with a passion hardly seen in the industry. If you’re house is in foreclosure & is headed to the auction block, contact NACA immediately and the process will stop. Sounds far fetched doesn’t it? Here are a few other things that sound far fetched, but is 100% truth.
- At the last “Save the Dream” tour, the average interest rate for the mortgages that people who were assisted with NACA received was 2%
- No down payments.
- No closing costs.
- People with Bankruptcy, Bad Credit, Low Scores are still eligible.
And that’s just to name a few. One of the first things that stood out to me was the fact that with every counselor, they have a monitor facing you so that you can see the counselor’s screen as they work on your case. It is a complete open door policy so that you know and understand that they have your interest in mind and that they want to help save your home! They will fight for, counsel, and encourage you through the entire process. There are three programs that NACA offers, the Home Buyer’s program, the Home Save program, & the Save The Dream tours. If you’ve lost your job, rate has increased, or simply can’t make your payments due to financial hardships, give NACA a call today, tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you, and let them help you keep the roof over your head!
My last stop took me to Furniture Mart, located at 4115 Old Petersburg Road in Martinez where I had the great pleasure of meeting Whit. And what a great place to find amazing deals on furniture. Furniture Mart is locally owned, and they obviously take great pride in what they do. The pieces that you’ll find on the showroom floor. are top quality, and for a price you can afford. Whit walked me around and showed me some of the great inventory they carry. The focus of Furniture Mart is customer satisfaction first. Creating a great experience from start to finish, with the aim at repeat business. Whit’s mentality is that if someone has a pleasant experience, purchases a great piece of furniture at a great price, what would stop them from coming back the next time? And that method is simple and very effective. All of their stock is hand picked, and sold right here in the Martinez store. And unlike a lot of larger chains, you can contact Whit & his team if there’s a specific style of furniture you’re looking for and they can help you find some of the items you’re looking for!
This week brought about some great contacts, and we are glad to share that with all of you. Please use our Tour’s to build your database and personal address book of businesses that you may want to visit. There are so many great things here in the CSRA that more people need to know about. If you would like a visit by Augusta’s Choice to your business, Contact Us HERE. If you are interested in sponsoring one of our Tour’s, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember, everyone has a choice. And if you’re passionate about your business, Augusta’s Choice may choose you!