Some may question the value of being a Main Street Community, but many others realize that it's an important distinction when marketing a community. Case in point: the phone rang in the Main Street Norwalk office, and on the line was a local official from a nearby northern Ohio community. The person already knew that Norwalk was a Main Street Community. He is working toward starting the program for his own town because he believes it will elevate his town's status.
A similar call came in, but this time it was a business looking to relocate. It didn't matter to them if we referred to our central business district as uptown, downtown, or anything in-between because the business was only interested in investing in a Main Street Community. Recently, visitors from the city of Salem returned to Norwalk to deliver their "First Impressions" report that cited their gut reactions to Norwalk. One key aspect from that report was that the visitors recognized Norwalk as a Main Street Community after spending only a short time here.
These occurrences illustrate the fact that being a Main Street Community is a very powerful and positive thing. "Main Street" has become a brand name of choice that causes immediate recognition to businesses and groups associated with traditional downtowns. What's more, stringent annual certification ensures that Main Street Communities maintain their high standards, which means that not every community makes the grade. Here, Main Street Norwalk is administered as a program of the Norwalk Economic Development Corp. (NEDC) and the ability to market Norwalk as a Certified National Main Street Community gives us an advantage and puts us on the national stage.
Who better knows what we want in the Main Street area than Norwalk area citizens, businesses, and civic groups? What types of businesses do you want in Norwalk's central business district? Help Main Street Norwalk target new businesses for the area. Check out the NEDC Web site atwww.norwalkohio.biz, select "survey," and make your choice.
Recruiting new businesses for the area is a prime objective of Main Street Norwalk, and your opinion will greatly assist in determining what types will be welcome Uptown. Based on your experience, what is missing, and what will be successful here?
The survey includes seven downtown business categories as options. They are: automotive goods and services, business goods and services, convenience goods and services, fashion goods, home goods, leisure goods and restaurants and entertainment. When voting, a breakdown of each category is available if you're curious where specific businesses are classified.
All seven business types currently are represented Uptown, but which ones offer the best potential for sustained success? Think about our existing customer base, tourists, and emerging demographic trends. Don't forget to vote atwww.norwalkohio.biz. Main Street Norwalk has so much to offer. How can we be sure? We all know Norwalk.
Dave Gulden is the Main Street Program Manager for the Norwalk Economic Development Corp. He can be reached at (419) 660-8696, or firstname.lastname@example.org