UPDATE TO THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESSION
THE WILLIAMSTOWN MAIN STREET COMMITTEE
When the year 2015 came to a close, the Main Street Committee—(MSC) reported on the Origin and Progression of their Committee throughout that year. This year we are giving an Updated summary of accomplishments by the MSC. It will provide a clear picture of the status of the revitalization process, started by Mayor Dan Teefy, in January—2015.
As most of you are already aware, part of the Mayor’s vision, immediately after taking office, was the formation of a committee to research and develop various methods to revitalize and “GROW” Downtown Main Street. This of course is in conjunction with the aggressive initiatives focused on improving the overall Commercial base across our entire Township. We believe that all endeavors of the MSC to move within that Vision, have remained both morally and fiscally responsible.
As this major economic objective grew, several interesting things developed. This group of dedicated and passionate volunteers, from both the business and residential sectors, successfully accomplished the following:
* Placed (7) new small and unique businesses in the Downtown Sector during 2015; (3) more on North Main Street, durng that same period;
* this year—several additional businesses are in the early stages of locating in that same Sector:
* examples of these businesses are: a second Micro-Brewery; a College Funding Strategies and Retirement Income Planning Business; a Shoe Repair shop with Orthopedic qualifications; an elegant Art of Beauty Salon; a new High End “sit down” restaurant; just to name a few. Several other unique shops will continue to be targeted throughout 2017;
Additionally the MSC>>>
* planned their First Fine Art Festival in Williamstown; which enjoyed overall success. The second one, will be expanded, and is scheduled for this coming April;
* succeeded in the long battle with the enforcement process for the newly amended Refuse ordinance—Trash and Recycle Cans are no longer kept in front of properties on Main Street;
* working with the Monroe Township Police Department, established Foot Patrols on Main Street during the busy Summer months;
* established and maintained good communications interface and reporting methods with the Police. Preliminary results indicate that this close relationship with the Police; Businesses; and the MSC, have shown a positive impact in the form of reducing incidents happening in and around Main Street;
* implemented a “Facade” loan program, designed to assist businesses to improve the curb appeal of their facility. We are currently working with (2) businesses who are anxious to take advantage of this process, which is custom tailored for small entrepreneurs;
* partnered with the Economic Development Commission—(EDC) to bring the First Ever: Chamber of Commerce; Urgent Care; and many other new and necessary improvements to the economic development process in Williamstown. All of these enhancements are an extension of the efforts and results achieved by the MSC through their process on Main Street in Williamstown. Furthermore, this affiliation with EDC is directly and indirectly responsible for an increase beween 50 and 60 new jobs in our Township;
* assisted the EDC with the Branding of Williamstown; Creation of a new Logo; Design and implementation of an Economic Development Website—Grow with Williamstown.com;
* the MSC has pledged to retain this affiliation with the EDC into 2017 and beyond. This joint focus will aggressively Target market appropriate developers and businesses, for both Main Street and all of the other commercial corridors in Williamstown;
* we also held the Second Scarecrow Contest, on Main St;–AND–
* provided a supplement to the Christmas Decorations, by placing “Lighted Garland” across
MSC planning for this year includes, but is not limited to, an aggressive Target Marketing Campaign. This will be in concert with the EDC; the Community Development Director, and Suasion Communications. Our Goals and Objectives will continue the focus on bringing “Unique” businesses to Williamstown’s Downtown; while also working towards increasing the ratable base throughout the many Commercial corridors of our Township This year, the plan of the MSC is, to work even closer with the EDC.
Effectively partnering with the EDC, while still remaining a separate group—which is crucial; ensures that both entities will take advantage of economies of scale. Specifically—with Planning; Execution; Financing; and Volunteer Personnel management. Addiitionally, completion of all Marketing; Public Relations; Communications; and related objectives and tasks, will be more efficient and effective.
In conclusion, may I leave you with this: It is the intention of the EDC and the MSC to provide summaries, in this form of reporting, on a Quarterly basis. These reports will reflect the ongoing efforts of the both the MSC and EDC, regarding their economic initiatives, as those activities grow and mature.