The Main Street Gainesville Advisory Board met Tuesday to discuss goals and priorities as it prepares to launch a series of local events this spring.
Main Street works to develop downtown Gainesville as a “center of government, service, professional, retail, cultural and religious activity.”
“I think we’re living up to our vision,” said Main Street Manager Regina Mansfield.
Main Street, an arm of the city’s tourism bureau, receives funding through the city’s hotel/motel tax and also through support from member businesses and individuals.
Mansfield said the organization hopes to increase its membership rolls this year through a variety of initiatives, including possibly sending out street teams during events it sponsors in the downtown square, as well as providing incentives and discounts for those who sign up.
Main Street is hoping to prepare a welcome package for local businesses.
The welcome package would provide information on how to relocate to the downtown area (business license fees and applications), as well as information on groups that support businesses, such as the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.
Main Street also hopes to hire a paid intern for its building inventory project. The project includes historical research on downtown properties, ownership history, specs and pictures.
It is hoped developing this portfolio will help attract new businesses to the square area.
Main Street has worked with several businesses looking to relocate to the square in recent months, including Naturally Posh Photography, which just moved in.
“It’s amazing the activity,” Mansfield said.
Main Street offers up to $1,000 in matching funds for signage to new businesses through its “façade grant,” something Mansfield said she expects Naturally Posh to take advantage of.
“We are excited they are here, and the renovations done to the building are looking wonderful,” she added.
The spring event season is set to kick off this month, with festivals, art markets and concerts to be held in the coming weeks.
Mansfield and the advisory board are working hard to make final preparations for these events, which always attract big crowds to the downtown area.