This was a true round table discussion about the topics that affect our businesses and our town.
Downtown Meadville Business Alliance
Attendance for the meeting held on 08-0813
Tom Collard / Tom's Train Terminal
Rich Thomas / TechBox
Brian Byers / TechBox
Dan Hunter / Cobblestone
Sandy Cheropovich / Sandy's Art Works
Nick Cheropovich / Sandy's Sign Works
Sarah Chapp / Confections Of A Cake Lover
Viki Allin / Creative Crust
Tim Kirk / Meadville Fine Art
Mary Kirk / Meadville Fine Art
• Facebook, Blog site, Web site.
- Everyone is going to work on a name for the public web site.
- Everyone is going to LIKE the Facebook page to get more people to LIKE the Facebook page.
- All agreed that we need more members and everyone is going to work on making it bigger.
After a lengthy round table discussion the members that were present, came up with these solutions to the downtown businesses. These solutions will insure a vital and vibrant downtown commercial district.
• A ‘Customer Parking Only’ zone that is in the heart of the business district. (The meters in these areas would be painted a different color.) *
• Long term, 12 hour meters to accommodate part time employees.
• A tier system for tickets. Violating the ‘Customer Parking Only’ zone would be higher ($30.00) than customers. Regular expired meter would be $7.00.
• Changing the hours that the meters are enforced from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. to 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
• A clear and concise definition for validating customers tickets.
• Business owners that need to park near their businesses for Loading And Unloading, need to get a uniform yearly pass to display in their window during times of Loading And Unloading.
• A clear definition of the rules of conduct for the Meter Men.
*All agreed that the 'Customer Parking Only' zone would run along Chestnut from Main to Water.
Along Park Avenue from W. Center to Arch. Along Market from W. Center to Arch.
Along Water from Walnut to Arch.
** We were unclear as to how the ‘Business Sponsored’ 15 minute spaces would work as far as enforcement goes. We need to look into this a bit more.
We also talked about the business owners that allow their employees to park in prime customer parking spaces.
What 'IS' the current policy of validating the parking tickets.
The conduct of the meter men.
The state of the Market Square parking ramp. It being well lit and having cameras in it.
Other Topics Discussed.
• How different cities handle their parking issues.
- Franklin was brought up. We talked about the hand held devices their meter men had at their disposal to ticket meter feeders.
- We talked about having a PDF map that anyone can print out and having a place mat map with advertising. Along with that discussion was the fact that all of us end up pointing out where everything is to customers that are visiting downtown. And, city council probably doesn't realize how much retail there is in this town.
- We talked about the cost of advertising and the different venues that help each of our businesses.
• More retail businesses.
- The cost of the store fronts versus the low customer base was a big issue.
• The heavy handed way in which the City Of Meadville is dealing with all of us.
- Meeting with Hovis with the cities lawyer there.
- Not replying to questions from businesses owners or potential new business people.
- Doing what they want regardless of what the business owners and citizens want and need.
- Business owners that were afraid to come to the DMBA meeting for fear of retribution. This was a recurring theme and several business owners were mentioned.
• We discussed how we would approach sending our needs to city officials. The consensus was that ALL members would personally sign every letter that went to the city.
• We talked about getting a lot of media involved. (TV and Radio) to get any message we want out there.
• Several businesses want to participate but are afraid of retribution from some aspect of the city. This needs to be discussed further!
• The next meeting will be on the second Thursday of September and there will be Facebook, blog and email correspondence between now and then to determine the location.
After meeting chit chat:
DMBA will be holding 2 events. This is very exciting!
1) There will be a Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition. It will have 2 categories, amateur and professional. We want to have it in the Gallery at Council On The Arts. The date is yet to be determined. Either October 24th or November 2nd.
2) A Zombie Walk! On November 2nd, the DMBA will be sponsoring the 1st Annual Zombie Walk. We will lay out a course through Meadville. If someone comes into a business, dressed up like a Zombie, that is participating in the Zombie Walk, that person will get a token gift or 10% off their purchase. Each business will decide how they want to participate.
This could be an all day event where Zombies walk when they want to or it could have a designated time frame. To be discussed.
Members List as of 8-10-13
DMBA Members List:
Miller's Brothers Staffing
Confections Of A Cake Lover
Save Room For Dessert
Whole Darn Thing
Cobblestone Cottage And Gifts
Meadville Fine Art
Bill Lawrence Studio
Meadville Council On The Arts
Market House GrillePark Avenue Cinema