Getting More From Your Gift Card Program

March 23, 2023
Many downtowns have experimented with gift card programs. But the initiative in Middletown, CT, is going strong after 18 years. The Middletown Downtown Business District launched its gift card program in 2005. After some fits and starts, downtown leaders overhauled it in 2010 with a new technology provider, says Sandra Russo-Driska, the organization’s coordinator. The…Continue reading


Keeping Streets Safe With Overnight Parking

March 16, 2023
Late-night revelers in Naperville, IL, may leave their cars overnight without fear of a parking ticket. An ordinance allows overnight parking and gives the city an inexpensive way to make late-night visitors feel more welcome. Discussions began at a transportation workshop in December of 2009 when a council member suggested free overnight parking. "We acknowledged…Continue reading


Collecting and Using Visitor Data

March 9, 2023
Once used primarily in large cities, advanced location data is providing event planning and business recruitment insights to smaller downtowns such as Tybee Island, GA, and Chapel Hill, NC. The technology tracks mobile devices to monitor visitation patterns. Based on data from tracking company, downtown leaders in Chapel Hill, NC, know that 80 percent…Continue reading


Providing Safe Storage For Homeless

February 23, 2023
Most local shelters only permit clients to bring a single bag, forcing them to choose between leaving their belongings behind or staying elsewhere — often on downtown streets. In Kansas City, MO, 30 gallon bins are providing storage for the homeless. The rolling bins are stored in a secure location and have been dubbed "Heart…Continue reading


Cleaning Up Visual Clutter Downtown

February 6, 2023
When it comes to business signage, many commercial areas are a free-for-all of ads of all shapes, sizes, and colors. If your downtown could be described as an "ugly, cluttered, sign-overloaded district," it’s time to clean up, says Ed McMahon, chairman emeritus of Main Street America and a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute.…Continue reading