There was a meeting relating to downtown Grand Forks last week and a downtown business association was formed.
Spurred by an Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting featuring the Penticton Business Improvement Association’s Barb Haynes last August, the group will focus on what happens in downtown and that is good.
People have complained about empty storefronts downtown and lack of communication between businesses that can sometimes happen and having a singular unit that will help with this is also good.
The defined downtown area is from 72nd Avenue to 75th Avenue, from Riverside drive to 5th Street with part of Central Avenue to 6th Street and there are a lot of businesses situated there.
Probably a number of different ideas on how to improve the downtown core and how to increase traffic (both local and tourist) will come forward and hopefully downtown businesses will share these ideas as the association builds itself from the ground up.
Going forward however, the most important thing is for all downtown businesses to work together and in fact, one of the things Haynes mentioned back in August was the need for businesses to get involved together – it can’t be one business trying to do everything by itself.
This is a team initiative and businesses should be willing to act like a team and put the interests of the team first.
Having different ideas about how to improve the downtown core or how to revitalize the downtown core is to be expected and the more new ideas the better.
Last summer during the airport appreciation/fly-in, Market Avenue was closed off and became a pedestrian mall, with a shuttle bus shipping people in from the air show to shop around and it was successful.
The buzz that is generated during events like the Santa Parade show that the downtown core has potential but businesses have to work in unison.
Downtown Grand Forks and what is best for it should always be at the forefront.
If it takes a village to raise a child, it will take the combined effort of downtown businesses to improve the downtown core.