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Downtown Spartanburg business representatives came together to talk about the challenges downtown still faces and how to best capitalize on the momentum downtown has seen in recent years.
The first meeting of the Downtown Business Council brought a standing-room only crowd of those who are most invested in Downtown Spartanburg to the SMC Studio inside the Aug W. Smith Building.
The Council, launched by the Downtown Development Partnership and modeled after the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s five area councils, aims to provide business owners in Downtown Spartanburg a chance to unite their voice and share relevant information.
“We really want the leadership of this group to come from this group,” said
Jansen Timore, executive vice president of the Downtown Development Partnership, who led the meeting.
Monday’s first meeting of the Downtown Business Council was designed to provide updates and lay out the roadmap of future meetings and areas of interest.
Jennifer Dillenger, vice president of institutional advancement at Spartanburg Methodist College, said the Downtown Business Council provides a unique opportunity for the needs and concerns of Downtown Spartanburg to be amplified.
“It’s one thing to speak about good ideas, but another to advocate them to the people who make policies,” she said. “That’s something I hope to see come from this.”
The meeting dove into finding or creating a forum where downtown businesses can easily and quickly post and share events, getting them in front of as many people as possible.
Efforts to install more signage were also brought up, hoping to nudge visitors beyond just the offerings of Main Street to businesses on Spring Street and Magnolia Street.
The increased foot traffic in Downtown Spartanburg showed downtown is busiest during the weekends as visitors and residents get out and about. Tidmore said he’s looking at installing more traffic counters to track the pedestrians visiting businesses along Spring and Magnolia streets.
Tidmore discussed panhandling and homelessness, an issue identified by many downtown business representatives in a business survey.
“There’s no silver bullet that tackles this problem, but it’s something we’re working on and something we want to hear from you all about,” he said.
Questions or inquiries about the Downtown Business Council, as well as ways to get involved with the Council, should be directed to Jansen Tidmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.