As a result of the promotional efforts of Rockland Main Street, Inc., at least one local business owner has received certification in the WELCOMEME Online Hospitality Program.

Katie Tarbox is the owner of Papercrafting, a small retail store in downtown Rockland that sells scrapbooking materials and other supplies.

Because she offers hands-on classes and deals with customers from all parts of the country, Tarbox decided it was important to take advantage of the unique web-based training program developed to provide statewide standardized training for anyone involved in the customer service fields of hospitality, tourism and retail.

According to the welcomemetraining.com website, there is great value in having owners and employees understand the merits of treating all visitors in a consistent and courteous manner, whether they are from away, or they are residents enjoying so-called “Staycations” in their home state. The training program is sponsored through the University of Maine’s Center for Tourism Research and Outreach and the Maine Office of Tourism.

 

Rockland Main Street, Inc. is one of 10 Maine downtown districts that have successfully met the criteria of the program created and administered by the Maine Development Foundation. The organization works with its members to collaborate on ways to enhance the value of the downtown districts and providing opportunities for improvement.

Tarbox, whose business was originally located on the outskirts of the city, said she immediately saw a multi-fold increase in the numbers of customers as soon as she moved her business to North Main Street, where she shares a parking lot with Wasses Hot Dogs.

For more information: rocklandmainstreet.com, 596-0000; papercraftingme@gmail.com.