Members Blog. This is the place where members of DMBA share information. Non-members are welcome to read. Our Dot Com site will be open soon.
is not affiliated with or a part of any other organization. We are an independent group of business owners who have come together to make a difference in our businesses and in our community.
Be a part of DMBA. Join in the conversation. Join in the fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

12 Hour Meter Update

The 12-hour meters have been placed.  

As planned, there are a total of twelve new 12-hour meters as followed:
Market Square Parking Ramp (6th floor, nearest the elevator tower) = 6
Academy Theatre Parking Lot (last two spaces on either side, nearest Cherry Alley) = 2
Robert Smith Memorial Lot (off of Park Avenue) = 4

These are in addition to the 4 meters that were already placed on South Main Street near its intersection with Arch Street.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How do we 'Brand' ourselves?

Let's start the conversation!

I hope everyone has or will watch the video on 'Branding' our community. It
will only be up on the web until the 27th. The main point of the video is,
what makes your community different from other communities.

In looking through our members list, I would say 'Art'. Not just the type
of art that is painted or drawn, but the type of art you can eat and drink
as well. Meadville is full of dance studios, and artisan breweries and
bakeries. There are exercise, yoga and massage businesses all over the

Meadville is also the county seat, full of health and human services.
Beautiful Bed and Breakfasts. Museums that show off the art of bygone
days.  And murals!

I think, that is what we need to brand.

What do you think?

The main point of the video is coming up with that thing that will draw outsiders to our community and what will bring our own residents back to our downtown.

The video gave a few examples. What do you think of when you hear the name:

What do you think of when you hear the name:

Tool & Die? Allegheny College? Meadville Medical?

How about the Market House, Academy Theatre, Baldwin Reynolds House, Johnson-Shaw Stereoscopic Museum, David Mead Log Cabin?

Then there are the businesses. Us! And what will bring more businesses like ours. 

We are entrepreneurs! We think differently and we take risks. We hone our crafts. We invest back into our businesses, back into the community. How do we want others to see us. What is that word, that phrase, that describes us, as a whole!

VooDoo Brewery, Jeron's Jewelers, Pineo Law, Whole Darn Thing, The Academy Theatre and the ARC. We have a common thread. Self motivated. Idealistic. Creative. 

 'We' are Meadville! 

Viki Allin
Creative Crust (Artisan) Bakery.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kathy Coches sent a post

My WUZZ Meadville City Council addresses parking ordinance

09-26-13 Agenda

09-26-12 Agenda

The meeting will be held in the Council Chamber in the City Building at 6:00 pm.

Meetings held on the 4th Thursday are meant to be work sessions.

On the September 26th ‘Work Session’ we will be discussing several topics.

-  Reviewing the information that DMBA received from Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

-  Creating a Ballot for choosing the Dot Com name.
   10 names will be put on the ballot and members will be asked to choose 3. Then from those 3 a final name will be chosen.

-  Discussing the idea of a Meadville Identity.
   Tool City, Zippers, Theaters, Market House etc… What do you think of when you think of Meadville? And how can we sell that identity?

-  Go over group marketing. Three or four businesses gang their ads for different media outlets.

The first webinar, “The Art of Community Branding” was very well received. The following is a link to the recording if you were not available to listen to it: The link will only be active until September 27.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kathleen Coches sent a post

Kathleen Coches

Small Business Saturday
Is your community ready for Small Business Saturday? Sign up to Rally Your Neighborhood by October 15th to receive an Activation Kit to help get local businesses ready for the big day! Available while supplies last. Terms apply.

Hey what about a Spring Event - 
Titusville to Downtown Meadville 
w/B&B and Restaurants and businesses. 
Raise money for Charity of choice. 
How Bicycles Can Save Small Town America -
  An explanation of how bike travel can revitalize rural areas. To learn more or have us speak to your community, visit

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Using the City Building for our meetings.

What do we need to do to be able to use the conference room for our meetings. The building is closed at 6:00 pm isn't it? I would really like to have a neutral location.

Let me know what you think.
Viki Allin
Andy Walker
I’ll discuss with Joe Chriest.  The building closes to the public at 4 p.m.  However, the front doors can be programmed to open and close at different times—ie. they could open at 5:45 and close at 7 p.m.—or whatever makes sense.  You would only have access to the front hallway and bathrooms.  I assume you would need Council Chambers (as opposed to the smaller meeting room across the hall where the Market Authority typically meets). That room only holds maybe 8 people around the table comfortably, with two or three chairs off to the rear niche.  Council Chambers could hold many more.  I’ll be back in touch.

Andy Walker
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk

Tim Kirk sent a post

Here is a link to a webinar that you have got to hear. I wish the whole DMBAlliance would listen to it.

The first webinar, “The Art of Community Branding” was very well received. The following is a link to the recording if you were not available to listen to it: The link will only be active until September 27.

Tim Kirk

Monday, September 16, 2013

12 Hour Meter Update

I was informed this morning that the 12-hour meters have arrived.

Here is the location plan:

Market Square Ramp (top deck): 6 (replaces 4 that were removed several weeks ago). [Note: Still need to discuss placing some (or all?) under cover so they can be used in winter months when the top deck is sometimes closed.]

Academy Theatre Lot (last two spaces closest to the Alley): 2

Robert Smith Memorial Lot: 4

I’ll send another follow up email when I know that the meters have been placed.  Hopefully later this week.


Andy Walker
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk

09-12-13 Minutes

09-12-13 Minutes

Started at 6:10 and ended at 7:45

Tom Collard / Tom's Train Terminal
Rich Thomas / TechBox
Brian Byers / TechBox
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
Randy Byham / JCB Woodscript Ltd
Heather Reichel / Off Color Gallery
Diann Frampton / Art By Diann
Nancy Asmus / Nancy’s Under The Steps
Kay Coches / Park Ave. Cinema
Shaneka Butler / Ocean’s Cafe
Matteo Rachocki / Voodoo Brewery
Bill Grasinger / Hovis Interiors
John Prinkey / North American Karate And Fitness
Sarah Chapp / Confections Of A Cake Lover
Christine Yamrick / Chateau Christine
Diane Kerr / Jeron Jewelers
John Kerr / Jeron Jewelers

The following items were approved.

• 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.
--  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. And would include the parking spaces around the Market House.
• 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 regular expired meter at $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 Meadville businesses, that meet the need to make deliveries within the downtown metered areas will be able to purchase ‘Delivery Passes’ the same as Windstream uses now. These passes are sold to Windstream for $10.00 a month.

A formal letter will be written and presented to City Council.

During the discussion, the explanation of what the current validation of tickets is. It was explained that in order to validate a customers parking, that customer must have put the full 50¢ into the meter and stayed at your place of business beyond the 2 hour meter limit.

We talked about the Business Association that is being started by Leroy Stearn. We compared his Association to the downtown development aspect of the Main Street Program and the DMBA to the promotion aspect of the same program. Tom Collard talked about the meeting he had with an Erie Association that was trying to achieve the same goals as Leroy’s association. We also talked about all our storefronts and what they need.

Tim Kirk presented a rough draft of an 8-½ x 11, 4 panel brochure that would be a map for of the downtown business district.
- The area of the map would use the boundaries set up by the ‘Main Street’ program. North Street to Arch Street. Water Street to the Diamond.
- Advertising would be paid directly to the printer. Price of each ad would be based on the cost of the printing divided by the numbers of ads around the map.
- Ads could include QR codes that would link directly to each businesses web sites.

Discussions that stemmed from this topic:
- The use of QR codes on our storefronts that would lead customers to our web sites and a secondary QR code that would lead directly to the DMBA map, located on our Dot Com web site.
- The possible development of an app for the downtown with an interactive map.

- The name of the website was discussed. The only name that was talked about was Make It Meadville. Everyone like this name.
Note: In discussions after the meeting it became clear that in order to ‘choose’ a name that there needs to be more than one name put on the table. Make It Meadville is on hold until we can all have input and several different choices.
- Heather Reichel, from Off Color Gallery will be creating our Dot Com website. She will be using GoDaddy as our host.

The discussion started out by describing the roll the DMBA would play in creating events that benefitted the local charities.  - Events would be geared towards drawing customers into our brick and mortar stores.  - Events would benefit one or more local charities.  - Events would be engaging and entertaining to our customers.

Christine Yamrick of Chateau Christine would like to see a lot more activities for the Zombies to participate in. Like a Zombie Yell contest, either at Diamond Park or inside the Mall, depending on the weather. There was discussion about the first one being small and building. Advertising the Zombie Walk outside our area. Possibly changing the theme each year to keep it fresh. A Scarecrow Walk, etc…

There was a brief discussion regarding the insurance and auxiliary police. But since all that information is not available yet, there was limited discussion.

Squeeze will be painting faces inside the Mall and then at the Market House for the Zombie Walk.

It costs a lot of money to get a specific movie like ‘Rocky Horror’ so asking for sponsors to obtain specific movies brought up.

Other events were discussed:
Having a Doo Daa Walk in the spring.

A scavenger hunt, where customers would have to go into each store to obtain an item.

A customer appreciation week, with the cities permission, the meters would be bagged for a week and customers would be given items like the DMBA map and discount coupons for businesses throughout Meadville.

There was a brief discussion about the need to address the way the city officials communicate with it’s citizens, from it’s official letters to the way it presents itself in newspaper interviews.

Matteo Rachock brought up the idea of having an E & I type meeting. This would allow each of the DMBA members to discuss their businesses so we would all get to know each other better and be able to recommend our businesses to each other's customers. Everyone needs to bring plenty of business cards to our meetings to share.
Diane Kerr brought up the idea of a mixer where we could mingle and get to know each other in a casual setting.

Two meetings would be set up similar to the way the city has their meetings. The second Thursday meeting would be the regular meeting and the fourth Thursday would be a type of study session.

There was a little talk about advertising the Downtown Meadville Business Alliance but the main discussion was brought up by Bill Grasinger of Hovis Interiors.
The idea being that 3 or 4 businesses would group together for 1 TV ad. One ad with the cost divided up between 3 or 4 businesses. An example was given: Jeron Jewelers, Cobblestone Cottage and Gardens and Confections Of A Cake Lover.
Diane Kerr is going to talk to her TV sales rep for more details.


After meeting chit chat:
Tim Kirk brought up the idea of kiosks that would be located in key locations throughout Meadville.


The Downtown Meadville Business Alliance will be strong and grow with the involvement, communication and participation of it’s members. Keep up the enthusiasm. It’s contagious!


List Of Members:
Academy Theatre
ARC of Crawford County
Art By Diann Frampton
Bill Lawrence Studio
CCHS Second Chance
CCHS Vet Hospital
Chateau Christine
Cobblestone Cottage And Gifts
Confections Of A Cake Lover
Creative Crust
Creative Expressions Of Art
Fine Print
Hovis Interiors
Market House Grille
Meadville Council On The Arts
Meadville Fine Art
Miller Brothers Staffing
Nancy's Under The Steps
Off Color Gallery
Orealia's Catering
Park Avenue Cinema
Pineo Law, LLC
Sandy's Artworks
Sandy's Signworks
Save Room For Dessert
Tattered Corners
Tech box
Tom's Train Terminal
Whole Darn Thing

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rich Thomas sent a post.

The degrade and demise of the Alliance.
I talked about this quite in depth last night with Brian after the meeting. I have seen this happen before and I believe it will happen again.
Not all of us are used to the hours per day you are. You are calling all of us together after our typical 8 hour day. Most of us are not young, and tired at that point. In short, I believe these meetings are too long, and twice a month will be too much. You can already tell by the early break up and duck out of individuals from the meetings. Believe me, when I saw the first one or two going I wanted to be up and out right with them, but would not do so out of respect for the rest of the group. (I was not also rude enough to state "get on with it or move on" like unmentioned others) This shows impatience and a meeting that is dragging too long
If somehow things we are covering could be shortened through email or some other way of communication I believe it would help.
Make it Meadville
I was in total disagreement with that name but kept quiet as no one else seemed to be. That name relates to me a doomed and failed organization I was part of to the final day of its existence. (Personally want to be no part of any organization destined to do this again) I also had no other suggestions to replace the suggested name with at the time which was another reason for my quiet. I suggest a variety of names rather than just one, and saying "how about this one?" It probably does appeal to others as they did not experience what we did. I am dumbfounded that Kay would even accept that as a name. I also agree that the comment made about two different names would be confusing. Not to all of us of course, but to some.Why not try to cover all?
In close
It think you have a good think started here as long as it does not center on resolving parking alone, and is widespread. I believe if DMBA is eventually large enough it could benefit all of us quite like Matteo suggested. Also, where are the other businesses? Has someone contacted them or emailed them asking them to come? For example, Dan Hunter was missing last night, pampered palate was mentioned as being in need of parking passes due to a problem they were having, but was anyone there to represent them? Dan Crandall says he wants to be a part of this, (possibly even getting our print work) where was he? A good point was made too, almost all of us were Chestnut St. businesses or within a very small district.
Lastly, every successful organization needs a structure of some sort. No matter how much you proclaim no one is in charge. Someone really is. I would suggest asking the group if they would like it run the way it is going or structure it somehow, the figure out who does what.
Feel free to copy and redistribute this as you wish, it is only opinion.
Take care

Monday, September 2, 2013

Agenda for 9-12-13 (May change a little)

September 12th Agenda.
Review the minutes of the previous meeting.

Old Business:
___  Review Parking issues.
___  Update everyone on the progress of the Blog and Facebook sites.
         -- These are members forums. Not meant for the general public. But the public is welcome.
___  Update everyone on the Dot Com progress.
         -- This is the general public site and can have it’s own Facebook page.
___  Discuss the names of the Dot Com.
         -- The advantages of using the name Make It Meadville and the short term disadvantages.

Between Meeting developments:
___  Tim Kirk creating a map for DMBA
         -- Advertising around the map
___  Tim Kirk creating a web site for DMBA
___  First Annual Zombie Walk
         -- Staggering events at the end of the walk.
___  Bring back the Annual Drop & Shop

New Business:
___  Discuss the need to have 2 meetings a month. The 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.
___  Present Insurance information
___  Member ‘Static Stickers’ to display at our place of business. (Tim)
         -- With QRL Codes to direct people with smart phones directly to our web site.
___  Advertising. What avenues do we use and how do we fund it.
         -- For the events.
         -- For DMBA

Future Business:
___  Develop a year round calendar of events
         -- Bring back the Soap box derby around the Diamond
         -- An Ice Cream Socal inside the Mall where the girl scouts, boy scouts, cheer leaders etc.
            can raise money. Maybe in conjunction with the St. Patricks Day parade.
___  Create a list of local charities to match each event
___  Plan meeting to learn about business topics such as Square and Google Circle. (Dan)
___  Have guest speakers like Senator Robbins or Michael L. Batchelor, President of the 
            Erie Community Foundation.
___  Adopt a store front. Get permission from building owners to create displays in the windows
            of their empty stores. Getting the grade school art departments involved.