On Thursday, the Vindicator made it widely known that Downtown Youngstown has a logo that it distributes to its businesses. Personally, I think they could’ve been a little more imaginative, like including an outline of the city on top, but nonetheless it is a start.
It also made me think where downtown can go from there, and I realized a solution that could serve as an immsense testament to the committment and unity businesses have to downtown: an official organization and website.
In the past, Vindy articles have reported on generally loose affiliations downtown businesses have with each other. If the businesses downtown come together and form an official association, where they’re all in dialogue together on what can be done to help downtown, it would demonstrate a great degree of professionalism.
Secondly, the organization should definitely form a website, and one that is fairly well publicized to the business community. There are a few websites with business resources, namely the CIC site, but the CIC site, in addition to being relatively unknown outside of people who are involved with downtown, also serves only as an owner of downtown buildings, though it is no secret they are all supporters of everything downtown. This organization I’m talking about, on the other hand, is comprised of business owners, and on their site could offer information on existing businesses, as well as leasing info, events in the city, and comments from owners on why they’re located downtown and what sets it apart from other places to have a business.
But the organization doesn’t have to exist as merely a website. I’d say a good business alliance would be able to hold meetings, with discussions on what can be improved upon in the city and resolutions they’d wish to bring to the attention of city government. They could also work together in planning events for the public to raise awareness of the area.
While I was looking into this, I want to highlight two excellent example cities: Manchester and Boise. Both these cities offer excellent resources on their website in regards to business information and why businesses should locate there. They also organize events to bring people downtown, and bring services to people in the area. These are but small websites, but with Manchester experiencing a great revival of their downtown area with over 140 businesses, and Boise increasingly rivaling other northwest cities like Seattle and Portland for prominence, a similar organization for downtown Youngstown would undoubtedly help our cause in reforming downtown.
See for yourself. Check out Manchester’s site, http://www.downtownmanchester.org/default.cfm, and Boise’s, at http://www.downtownboise.org/. They are very impressive, and Youngstown could definitely draw on what they’ve accomplished.
That’s all for now. Go Penguins! Beat Davis!