Archive for Richmond Indiana Historic Downtown Revitalization “Main Street” Community

Rebuilding Main Street

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 2010/09/28 by jimhairphotos

At the meeting this morning approximately forty members of the Richmond community came together to discuss a possible future for the Main Street/Center City Organization. The meeting was called by Mayor Hutton and moderated by Mary Jo Clark and Pat Heiny.

The first question asked as people introduced themselves, was what qualities they would like to see in a Main Street Organization?
The comments were:
well coordinated
active organization
open collaboration
distinct goals
downtown neighborhoods
rational strategic vision
revolving loan program
equal participation
responsible leaders
tolerant of opposing views

Cards were distributed to tables listing the

National Main Street Four-point Approach:
Organization – getting everyone working toward the same goal.
Promotion – selling a positive image of the commercial district.
Design – getting the area into top physical shape to create a positive visual image.
Economic Restructuring – sharpening the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruiting new businesses.

Everyone was asked to work with the people at their table to come up with ideas that related these four points to our experience in Richmond.

Our table came up with these:

Strong positive leadership
Inclusive – everyone’s invited
Open and frequent communication with transparency

Cleaning up the weeds, graffiti and trash
Develop attractions
Give the community a reason to become our partner
Train next generation of leaders
Outreach to other states, create a national campaign
Build on the success we had with the Model T Centennial

Façade grants
Renovation of buildings
Revolving loan fund
Develop public private partnerships
Work to get the buy in of everyone to participate
Address issues of absentee owners, empty buildings
Snow removal
Plant watering and maintenance

Economic Restructuring
Make the parking garage safe, secure and clean
Create a city attraction map
Support the billboards on I-70
Utilize Facebook, Flickr, YouTube
Create a welcome wagon for new businesses beyond what realtors already do
Clarify with the City Administration the process of obtaining building permits
Create an atmosphere that will make bringing a new business to Rich,mond a positive experience
Remove obstructions to development
Sponsor local projects
Initiate mutually beneficial city-wide advertising
Share a grant writer for various organizations

The discussion was opened to the group for top two suggestions from lists:

Create a “First Fridays” or “First Tuesdays” when all businesses would participate
Make available business loans
Internet marketing
Schedule regular business seminars
Encourage new business
Make Richmond a destination for visitors
Re-educate community to be positive and project a positive outlook
Pick up trash
Put an informational center/resource center in one location
Encourage a “Buy Local” program
Create a business cross promotion template
Fix parking
Mentor youth
Highlight specialized businesses on billboards and ads
Make downtown living possible

What did we miss?

What was left out?

How do we ensure action?