Marietta Main Street has been hard at work pushing towards our 2017 Strategic Goals with our Board of Directors, Committees, and Executive Director. The first quarter of the year has brought with it big accomplishments, exciting updates, and a lot to look forward to.
Read through below for a recap of our first quarter and updates from our committees. If any of the below items peak your interest, reach out to email@example.com and get involved! Or, make a donation directly to Marietta Main Street to help support our work.
The Small Business Revolution
In November 2016, it was announced that Marietta, OH was shortlisted as a Top 8 Finalist in The Small Business Revolution Main Street Contest. In January, we welcomed The SBR film crew to Marietta to interview local leaders, small business owners, and community members about what makes Marietta so great, what our strengths are, what our challenges are, and how our community has come together to persevere through it all.
Ultimately, The SBR team chose a list of 5 communities to move forward in the contest to win $500,000 and a web series on Hulu, and Marietta was not included on that list. In the words of Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand & Communications Officer for Deluxe Corporation, "Honestly, Marietta is killin' it!"
Our community has a lot to be proud of - we rallied together to share our love for #MyMarietta and put us on the map in the Main Street movement. The mission of The Small Business Revolution is exactly the mission of Marietta Main Street - to revitalize our downtown - and the revolution does not stop here!
This new program was launched by Marietta Main Street in January and so far, we've seen great success! The 3 First Fridays in the first quarter combined, nearly 2,500 people came downtown and generated a reported revenue of ~$30,000 for our downtown shops and restaurants. We are optimistic that as the year continues and the warmer weather is upon is, our community will come downtown each First Friday to enjoy shops open late, themed experiences, local shows, and much more.
This program continues each month from January to December and each month's theme has already been determined for 2017 with a handful of local business and organizations collaborating with Marietta Main Street to produce new, fun experiences each and every time.
For a full list of 2017 First Friday themes, click here to learn more!
Marietta Main Street hosted our very first Downtown Celebration, a remix of our annual meeting where downtown business owners, community leaders, volunteers, donors, local officials, and many others joined us to uplift our achievements from 2016 and look forward to 2017. We honored 6 community members with Main Street Awards, each representing a characteristic of a strong, thriving downtown - restored buildings, committed volunteers, helpful neighbors, mission advocates, collaboration, and more.
Our Public Art Committee is currently developing a vision statement to pair with a formalized strategic process for our community-at-large to work with the Public Art Committee, in partnership with the City of Marietta, to install artwork throughout the C4 District.
July's First Friday theme is Art Walk and is hosted by the Public Art Committee. At this time, the Public Art Committee will reveal and celebrate the installation of two additional art pieces downtown: a lock tree sculpture and a temporary mural.
This evening will also signify the launch of our Mural Gallery Program, a program of our Public Art Committee that facilitates the connection between local artists and building/business owners who would like to install temporary murals on their buildings.
Our Historic Town Fair is a one-day conference on historic preservation, including care and maintenance of historic properties. Professionals, experts, advocates, and community members from across the states of Ohio and West Virginia will join us in Marietta, OH for this great new event.. As Ohio's First Adventure, this event has the potential to be a signature for our community and put us on the map in the state of Ohio as a small town leader in the preservation movement.
Similarly, our Historic Preservation Series has been running monthly since October and continues through May, featuring a variety of topics that relate to historic preservation, such as ADA compliance, building codes, funding and historic tax credits, and more.
Because of these efforts, we are proud to host The Building Doctor program of the Ohio History Connection this June, a free opportunity for our community to learn from experts about all of the above, including free consultations for historic property owners.
Annually, Marietta Main Street funds and hangs flowers and flags downtown. Our Design Committee is currently preparing to conduct a full assessment of the C4 District to identify opportunities to expand our beautification program.
Parallel to the surveying of downtown Marietta, our Design Committee is also actively working with the City of Marietta on updating current signage & banner ordinances. Drafts have been submitted to the City of Marietta based on examples from other successful, well-designed communities in Ohio, including of merchant surveys from last year.
Marietta Main Street is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organization, and as such, we require donations and partnerships to sustain our operations. Our Operations Committee is diligently working on redeveloping our partnership model, planning for upcoming fundraising campaigns, and strengthening internal policies so that we can one day soon, shoot for the stars and hire an additional staff member.
Our Promotions Committee houses the development of our First Friday events, as well as Hidden Places Secret Spaces, Hometown Holidays, and Cash Mob Mondays. In addition to event planning, this committee houses advertising and PR of historic downtown Marietta. We are actively working with the Marietta-Washington County CVB to strengthen advertising off the interstate, across southeast Ohio, and locally.
In addition to this, our Promotions Committee has been working to strengthen our holiday decor downtown through the development of lighted buildings and other downtown entities to increase foot traffic in the 4th quarter of the year.
Similar to our Design Committee, our Business Enhancement Committee is developing a process to do a full assessment of downtown Marietta's occupancy - commercial space, residential space, vacant space, ownership of buildings, and more.
This committee also houses our Farmers Market on Front Street and our monthly Boost Your Business Workshop Series.
Moving forward, our Business Enhancement Committee is working to develop a strong list of one-on-one opportunities for downtown businesses to take advantage of, as well as a rubric for self-evaluation and potentially a secret shopper program.
big picture developments
The Marietta Main Street Board of Directors is currently developing materials to facilitate the development of an economic development area plan for the C4 District. And, we are currently in the process of rebranding our organization with Just A Jar Design Press - a local business on Front Street!
Above and beyond each of the above initiatives, Marietta Main Street is represented on the Advisory Board of the MOV Entrepreneurship Expo, the Advisory Board of 5th Street Consulting at Marietta College, on the Board of Directors of the Marietta-Washington County CVB, on the Board of Directors of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, on the Mayoral-appointed Development Advisory Board for the City of Marietta, and on the Staff of Clutch MOV.
Whew! That's a whole lot for just one quarter! We at Marietta Main Street work tirelessly to meet our goals and get our community on the right track to sustainable revitalization of our downtown. If you are interested in getting involved, joining a committee or volunteering at our events are the perfect ways to get involved! And, as always, supporting our mission with a financial donation is a significant contribution to ensuring our organization can stick around for years to come.