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Downtown Business Reboot

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VietVet View Drop Down
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    Posted: Apr 10 2020 at 12:20pm
Journal story concerning how the downtown area will rebound after the coronavirus outbreak........

Middletown’s downtown community is working to encourage businesses during the coronavirus COVID-19.

Jeff Payne, executive director of Downtown Middletown Inc., said the organization is looking at ways to encourage downtown businesses “to hang in there during these challenging times. “Last week, instead of running around preparing for the monthly First Friday events, Payne and other volunteers were hunkered down safe-distancing.“The biggest frustration is not knowing how soon,” he said.

Payne said the organization is kicking into gear the Economic Restructuring Committee, whose normal function is to work seamlessly with DMI’s promotional efforts to help business owners deal with the challenge everyone is facing.“The committee has focused its efforts on 1) getting through the crisis, and 2) preparing for our recovery once we are through it,” he said.In addition, DMI has developed a link for its webpage “Downtown Middletown - How You Can Help” for people interested in helping: www.downtownmiddletown.org/how-you-can-help.
“This page lets everyone know that there are ways that the community can support our downtown, and those businesses,” Payne said. “One of the most impactful ways is to purchase gift cards from our downtown businesses. Another way is to take advantage of our businesses that provide for carry-out.”He said the committee has been doing research on the various processes associated with the recent federal legislation “CARES Act” and “EIDL,” so that if requested, DMI can provide some guidance to our businesses on how to get started.

Payne also want to encourage members of our philanthropic community to support the efforts of the Middletown Community Foundation, specifically the Coronavirus Emergency Fund.He said the Middletown foundation’s efforts are to be applauded, because the community has seen the sudden and shocking impact of this pandemic on the local economy.Payne said DMI submitted a proposal to implement a program that they hope will be funded. He said the programs’ goal is to provide some immediate financial relief, and encourage businesses to take advantage of the recent federal relief efforts. If the effort is successful, Payne said DMI will share more details and did not want to get ahead of ourselves at this time.“I think the most important take-away is that the Downtown Middletown Community is doing its part to help fight this virus, and eager to get back to work providing a wonderful experience to Middletownians, and our many visitors,” Payne said.

This is the continuation of tunnel focus on business in Middletown. It would appear that this city government and the business community in this city, are only focused on growing the downtown instead of EVERY area of the city. This, IMO, is so biased in approach. Why do council members support this obvious error in overall support? It is disgusting to watch this tunnel vision support for only businesses in the downtown when the Towne Mall area, the University area, the Roosevelt Avenue and the Verity Parkway business communities could use the help to prosper as well. Let's develop an attitude of "all inclusive" rather than just helping one area of town that attracts a fraction of the business that the Towne Mall area alone attracts. Specialty shops, with special agendas hardly attracts the majority of Middletown residents. This is a Wal-Mart, Meijers, Lowes, McDonalds, Kroger town, not a high priced, specialty store type of city. Always has been. You just can't put all your efforts in one area and leave all other areas to fend for themselves. Coffee shops, candy shops, high priced specialty restaurants and other specialty stores only go so far with regard to attraction and don't necessarily attract Middletown clientele with any regularity and volume. The downtown impact can't be more than the Towne Mall impact to this city. I fail to see why the downtown area has garnered so much importance to the city leaders when there is much more activity and money flow in other parts of this town.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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spiderjohn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2020 at 1:26pm
Most everyone in town agrees...
City is in too deep to quit now + these downtown businesses will be needing $$ probably at the expense of all other city businesses

But how many times can we say your message?
It still doesn’t matter....
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VietVet View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2020 at 4:26pm
I know spider, I know. Just get so frustrated at seeing stories supporting the dam downtown area acting like the other parts of town don't matter. Concentrating on just the downtown and ignoring the issues in all other parts of town is a road to disaster for this city.......and they don't see that????

Just wondering what they are looking at sometimes. Sit in the Kroger parking lot at the Towne Mall location, look south toward Lowes and north towards Meijer and notice the traffic flow on a given normal day (pre-non-corona virus day that is). Then go downtown and watch the difference in traffic flow sitting at Don's Pizza (or anywhere) on any day and notice the difference in traffic business attraction. There is no comparison. Yet, because the city leaders are so enamored (maybe so beholding???) with the downtown business owners, (and because we seem to be loading up on council members with downtown business owners), they place all their eggs in one basket.

History repeats itself......

The city leaders in the 70's made the same tunnel vision mistake when they relied on Armco/AK at the time for the city revenue and didn't replace the paper mills that were closing by finding more industry to replace them. Now, not only have we lost the paper mills, but are now dealing with the decline in revenue from a drastically downsized AK Steel, that has since gone under new ownership. The city literally lost it's revenue base right before our eyes and the city leaders just sat and watched it all happen back then. The same is happening right now in a different context. What is the matter with city leaders who can't see what this city needs to prosper......or don't they care enough to do something about it? What the hell happened to competent city leadership since the 60's. Like society as a whole, city leadership has gone downhill the last four decades with non quality individuals who just want to warm a council seat and with no future visions.

You're right......it still doesn't matter. Sad to know.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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spiderjohn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2020 at 7:20pm
Still hoping that the new mayor and next city manager will shift the emphasis....

You make excellent points about the traffic around Kroger, Meijer, Lowe’s, the restaurants out there + Atrium and Kettering compared to the business trAffic in the former downtown, even on their good days.....
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