Downtown Committee launched

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logoChamberDowntownCommitteeThe Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Board of Director’s proposed it in December, an open call-out meeting to all downtown merchants was held in mid-January, and now the downtown committee has been launched.

As an official committee of the Chamber of Commerce with diverse representation from fashion, art, photography, food and beverage and communications, its mission statement reads, “maximizing merchant exposure while enhancing visitor experience through effective cooperation and communication.”

“For some time now, discussions have been held in regards to the Chamber’s role in downtown, so the idea of forming a committee specifically designed to focus on downtown is nothing new,” Julie Cole, Executive Director of the Zionville Chamber of Commerce, said. “Late last year, a group of merchants initiated a joint effort to market all of the great merchandise, services, and restaurants that downtown has to offer. We (Chamber) thought it made sense to build upon that effort and to establish one core committee that would represent downtown.”

Barbara Jennings, Downtown Committee Chair and managing partner of Corner Vise Gallery and Frame Shop since1986, was excited after the first committee meeting on Jan. 29.

“Downtown Zionsville is a treasure. It is how Zionsville is defined. So, when things are not well in downtown, it impacts the whole town,” Jennings said. “Everyone wants the best for Zionsville, but it’s fractured. We need to bring groups together and be on the same page.”

Bringing the merchants together is what the downtown committee is all about, with one concrete goal being unified hours of operation for downtown shops and restaurants. Currently, hours vary and only a handful are open on Sundays. The group is gathering information from merchants, via a survey, in hopes of bringing consistent hours.

“We want to have recommended downtown hours, possibly being open as a town late on Thursdays and being open on Sundays from noon to four,” Jennings said.

Another goal is clear communication with merchants to keep them informed on street closures, promotions, events and anything related to the downtown area. At times, street closures occur without merchant’s knowledge and it can impact downtown businesses since access to Main Street becomes limited. The group hopes to have a voice in these street closing requests or at least be able to give merchants notice before they occur. Working with the Town to repair sidewalks is also a priority.

“Our hope is that anything that happens in downtown Zionsville goes through us. We want to be involved in all downtown events, no matter who is hosting or promoting the event,” Jennings said. “If we, as merchants, can work with the promoters, it’s a ‘win-win-win’ – a win for event promoters, merchants, and visitors.”

Additional goals are a shopping guide, new promotions/events, merchant web page on the Chamber website, and welcome packets along with visits to new merchants. Having liasons with other groups, such as ZMA and the Cultural District Board as well as organizations such as the Lions Club and Sullivan Munce is also key to improving communication with downtown events.

“The Chamber, like many organizations in this community, promotes Zionsville in their own unique way. We have, and will continue to work with and support organizations that promote Zionsville and provide a benefit to our community,” Cole said.

For more information on the downtown committee, contact Barbara Jennings at barbara@indygalleries.com or Julie Cole at jcole@zionsvillechamber.org.

 

Downtown Committee Members

Barbara Jennings – Chair

Tom Casalini

Julie Cole

Ron Hopwood

Lesley Hunt

Dusky Loebel

Janelle Morrison

Steve Russo

Steve Schwarz

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