It was another wonderful week supporting small businesses in Downtown Bend! Our mission is the increase the vitality of Downtown Bend, and DBBA staff and board once again worked tirelessly at this mission.
We also had a ton of fun putting together the community tree lighting for Bend. This event is always one of the highlights of the year for DBBA staff.
"I can't help it," says Mindy Aisling, DBBA Executive Director, "I tear up at every community tree lighting. There is just something so magical and small-town about Santa counting down to the lighting of the community tree with the citizens our our community."
This year, because of COVID19, the community tree lighting (like everything else) had to be re-imagined. In years past, the community tree lighting has been a big party, where local Bend families come out to visit with Santa, drink local beer, sing songs, and light the community tree together. For 2020, the Community tree lighting is going virtual. DBBA staff worked with Mayor Russell, Bob Shaw and Santa to pre-record the tree lighting and have it played on KTVZ on Friday, 11/27, so that the community could count down to the lighting of the tree from the comfort and safety of their homes. For more information, click here.
This week we also continued to work on the Shop Small Passport Event to drive traffic to local businesses. This year we are once again registered as a Neighborhood Champion with American Express, which allows us to receive free swag that we can give out to participants. We worked to get all these goodies out, we continued to promote on our social media, and we made sure that our stores at the supplies they needed.
As we mentioned in a previous weekly update, we are passing on savings so that businesses can market themselves at a discounted rate in the Downtown Bend Holiday Guide that will publish in The Source on 12/10. We are also creating a full centerpiece spread with photos of our local merchants and families and the messaging will say "Shopping local supports local Bend families" - or something similar. We are working hard to spread the message that shopping local matters!
Meeting with the wonderful women who are running the new North West Crossing (NWX) Business Association was a delight. We discussed a plethora of ways to collaborate for the good of our community. With a powerful belief that collaboration works better than competition we set forward on a path to include not only our two districts, but other shopping districts, such as The Box Factory and Old Mill to unite for a common good. By working together, we can make sure that planned events don't overlap, that promotions and event compliment each other, and that we are able to offer each other wisdom, experience and support.
This week was also the DBBA Board of Directors meeting. The DBBA Board of Directors meets every month on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and is open to the public. To follow along with our agenda and minutes, click here. If you'd like to attend the next board meeting, click here to be added to the calendar invite. This month we had a guest speaker from Yiftee, a digital gift card program, and the board and staff decided to move forward to test the public and business participation of an online option for our currently paper-only Downtown Dollar program. We are excited to roll this out, and (if all goes as planned) we'll have some exciting updates for you in regards to this program and future sponsorship!
Oregon Mainstreet is a organization that we are grateful to be a part of every single day. Collaborating with other downtown districts, and sharing mutual benefits is a powerful component to increasing the vitality of our downtown district. This week, Oregon Mainstreet offer a series of webinars on funding. This kind of valuable education is just one of the benefits we receive from Oregon Mainstreet. The DBBA board and staff are taking a long, deep look at funding for the organization in preparation for the EID renewal in Spring 2021. If you have any questions about DBBA funding, please feel free to reach out to us.
We've been meeting with the newly elected councilors for Bend City Council, and we are looking forward to working with them to build a strong downtown for years to come. This past week we met with Melanie Kebler to talk about funding, beautification, water conservation, parking, open streets, future Holiday programs to increase tourism, & more.
In 2018, the DBBA Executive Director met with all of the business and building owners who were willing to sit down and talk about what they wanted for Downtown Bend and how they felt that the DBBA could support that vision. One thing that we heard was that our stakeholders wanted more advocacy and resources. We have worked diligently at supplying these things both pre and post COVID19. This week we once again communicated with our stakeholders on how to participate in advocacy for their industry and how to receive support for themselves and their staff.
Last but not least, we continued to decorate Downtown Bend for the holidays. As mentioned in a previous post, this year we upgraded all of our wreaths to include solar-paneled warm white twinkle lights, and we're loving the way they look!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit
dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.