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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letters: Need to keep approved sign

(The following letter was sent to Berlin Mayor Gee Williams and to Bayside Gazette for publication.)

Dear Mayor,
I have heard rumors in town regarding the removal of all “sandwich board” signage for downtown business per the request of the Berlin Historic Committee.  I would like to express my disapproval and disappointment in even the idea or suggestion of this.
As a small business owner, we followed the guidelines of applying for, getting approval of and paying the permitting fee to have a “sandwich board” sign promote our business.  When we opened in 2010 and were located on Main Street, our “sandwich board” signage attracted many customers into our store.  
In 2012, when we moved to our new location on Bay Street, we were given the approval to place our sign outside of the Atlantic Hotel since we were not on Main Street and the sidewalk outside of our shop is too narrow.   This “sandwich board” is now essential to the success of our small business.
On or off of the Main Street, these “sandwich boards” are a vital marketing/promotional tool, directing a significant amount of customer traffic to all of our locations.  This type of signage is even more important for all of the downtown businesses that are located off of the “main drag.”
More than 40 percent of our “walk-in” business mentions that, and I quote, “we would not have found you, if not for your sign on Main Street.” Other business owners in small towns who have been forced to remove “sandwich board” signage, have noticed a significant drop in business, which results in loss of revenue and jobs.
“Sandwich Boards” are historic, gaining popularity in the 19th century and can be seen in most towns from Berlin, Md. to Sonoma, Calif.  They are without a doubt effective in increasing customer traffic to and therefore revenue generating for every business that chooses to use them and I strongly disagree with their removal.  Thank you for your careful consideration regarding this matter.
Robin Tomaselli
Baked Dessert Café and Gallery