Do Not Enter.  

One Way.  

Dead End.  

No Parking.  

No Trespassing.

Do not disturb.  

Cash Only.  

No refunds.  

So many signs.  Most of them negative.   Limiting.   Restrictive.

Reminds me of that song from the early 70’s by Five Man Electrical Band: 

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?

How refreshing it is to see a positive sign.  One with good news.  One that shows care and concern.  Maybe even with a clever  or inspiring twist.   Like these five spotted in Chapelboro this year.

What a treat to go pay the meter before heading in to a restaurant  on West Franklin Street and find this festive holiday cover.

In case you can’t read the small print, it says:  
FREE Off Street Parking
This Saturday!

Extra bonus – it was a Friday.

As I stood there to take this photo, three other people came up to pay and each one had a similar response – Wow!  Free Parking!     I even heard a bit of chatter about it once inside the restaurant.   Thank you , Town of Chapel Hill for the holiday treat.

And what about this sign which marks a space by the front entrance at VIETRI, Inc in Hillsborough?

Very clever.  

To understand the significance, one must know that VIETRI imports all of their products from Italy.  Handcrafted products for tables, homes and gardens – designed by master artisans.

Founded by Lee Gravely and her daughters, Frances and Susan,  VIETRI has been in business now for twenty-six years and as their tagline says, they are Irresistibly Italian.  

Another favorite.

The sign below stands in the front entrance of Pam Herndon’s State Farm Insurance office.

It speaks volumes about the way Pam does business.  She loves her customers and wants the best for them and their families.

While this unexpected sign  – actually two of them – reserve front row parking spaces for expectant mothers, it has an impact on others as well.

There’s more on this in an earlier Chapelboro post:  The Unexpected at Whole Foods.  

AICPA also reserves spaces for expectant employees.  Read more on this at:  AICPA Shows Signs of Good Business.

The fifth featured sign was actually spotted outside of the Chapelboro area but it really hit home. Or punched me in the nose and I had to bring it home to share.

In fact it became the Quote of the Week – a reminder to stop allowing the economy to push us around. 

All five of these are signs of good business.  They put company culture and values on display. They show spunk and spirit.  They show care and concern.  Often in new and novel ways.   Drawing a laugh or a smile.  Helping outsiders connect to the people inside the business.

All of that can change a transaction.  Or a relationship.  Or encourage someone to take action.  Or simply lighten someone’s step for a minute or a day.

That – any of that – is good business.

What about you?  Have you seen any such signs in Chapelboro?  Will you tell me about them in the comments section below? Or send along with a picture to