Downtown biz group proposal reappears
May 9, 2005
Although an effort to maintain a downtown business association failed four years ago, Carson City and many business owners believe hiring a consultant is key to making the association succeed.
City supervisors allocated $15,000 to hire a consultant to help downtown merchants and other businesses form an association focused on destination marketing.
Mark Schmidt, owner of Carson Jewelry & Loan on North Carson Street, said anything that would create more foot traffic downtown would be a good thing.
Schmidt would like to see the association formed as a “one-stop shop,” where tourists or out-of-town business owners could come to see what’s going on in Carson City and how to relocate here.
“I’ve always noticed one of the keys of being successful is if there is a good line of communication between city government and local business,” he said.
Joe McCarthy, economic development and redevelopment manager, said a consultant would help the businesses draft bylaws and structure the association.
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“Downtown businesses have made several attempts at forming an association, and it’s a difficult task for individual business owners to do,” he said.
“So, we thought by bringing some expertise in, it would help.”
The association would be run by the business owners, not city government. The last association operated in the late 1990s.
“It didn’t have any structure, no bylaws,” McCarthy said. “It didn’t have the glue that holds things together.”
The consultant would determine how many business owners are interested in joining a private, nonprofit association.
But McCarthy said it would be a benefit to all, not just the members. It could take a year before downtown business owners see the fruits of an association.
The Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee will begin recruiting the consultant in July.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.