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Downtown Digest provides brief summaries of essential information from Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter.

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An Incubator Model for Smaller Communities

March 27, 2014
The Merrimack Valley Sandbox has created an incubator model, which it says will boost the social and economic vitality of cities with populations under 200,000. The model is more inclusive than most, the staff works with everyone from high school students and their teachers to senior citizens, as well as entrepreneurs from varied ethnic and…Continue reading


10 Rules for Downtown Chief Executives

February 28, 2014
In his 40-plus years working with nonprofit organizations, David Feehan, president of Civitas Consultants, has learned a thing or two about how downtown chief executives can ensure that the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of their organizations are on course. The February issue of Downtown Idea Exchange newsletter includes the first five of his 10…Continue reading


Reconsidering Portable Signage Ordinances Downtown

January 30, 2014
In an effort to balance sidewalk safety, downtown aesthetics, and small business owners’ desire to increase outreach to customers, many communities are re-examining portable signage ordinances. Because digital signage has become more affordable, it is also increasing in popularity and must be taken into consideration when drafting new regulations. The February issue of Downtown Idea…Continue reading


Small Business Saturday Can Be A Year-Round Event

November 26, 2013
The Small Business Saturday event launched by American Express in 2010 has been a boon to independent retailers in many communities each November. But in Concord, NC, downtown stakeholders were not content to mark this event only on the Saturday following Black Friday. Instead, the Concord Downtown Development Corporation carefully crafted a campaign to celebrate…Continue reading


Building Artistic Neighborhoods

November 15, 2013
An innovative pilot program in Cleveland, OH, is providing affordable artist housing while also building a stronger creative economy for the city. The Artist in Residence Program is a joint venture between the Northeast Shores Development Corporation and the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Several tools have been developed to attract artists and help…Continue reading


Shopping Events Draw Men Downtown

November 1, 2013
Offering men the opportunity to attend a fun event while getting some help with holiday shopping and wrapping is a good way to encourage more male customers to venture into downtown shops. Many individual retailers offer men-only holiday shopping events, and downtown organizations are beginning to see value in this approach, as well. For example,…Continue reading


Quantifying Event Benefits

October 15, 2013
An effective, accurate survey can help demonstrate the economic boost brought to city centers during downtown festivals and events. Having those numbers in hand can help event producers defend budgets, attain funding, and quell objections from those who think downtown events are too disruptive. This month in Downtown Promotion Reporter newsletter, Patrick Tierney, chair of…Continue reading