Each year, Elizabeth City Downtown, Inc. (ECDI) reviews its accomplishments and looks ahead to the coming year. From this, we develop an annual plan to guide our activities. I thought it would be useful to share our plans for the next 12 months with you.
Last month the ECDI Board of Directors held a planning retreat to define our mission, vision, goals and objectives. Our nonprofit organization is working hard to revitalize our beautiful downtown district. Here are the results of this planning session:
Mission: The ECDI office will be a catalyst for revitalization, acting as a central resource for potential investors, visitors, and residents interested in our historic waterfront downtown.
Vision: ECDI envisions downtown Elizabeth City and its waterfront as a premier destination for unique shopping, dining and cultural events, continuing to enhance Elizabeth City’s legacy as the “Harbor of Hospitality.”
Implementation Strategy: Elizabeth City is a designated NC Main Street Community that follows the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach® to implement a downtown revitalization initiative: organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring. Our goals focus on these four areas.
Goal/objective: Maximize human and financial resources to accomplish our vision, mission and strategies for downtown Elizabeth City.
1. Identify, develop and operate a fundraising plan with an annual giving strategy to focus on our goals.
2. Identify and build partnerships to work with all local organizations and businesses.
3. Recruit and retain volunteers.
4. Operate ECDI efficiently, with fiscal and operational governance guided by up-to-date organizational policies and practices.
Goal/objective: Get people downtown and increase visibility, retail sales and investment.
1. Review, develop and expand brand and branding efforts.
2. Create, produce and publicize marketing materials and special events.
3. Continue to evaluate and improve ECDI’s special events.
Goal/objective: Improve the appearance of downtown by creating an inviting and safe environment for shoppers, workers, visitors and residents.
1. Build collaborations to improve the appearance of vacant properties.
2. Offer mini-grants for downtown beautification, such as façade grants.
3. Implement coordinated planting areas and planters.
4. Plan and design a splash pad/water park.
5. Find funding and begin implementation of a public music/art park.
Goal/objective: Support a mixed-use district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers and anticipates the needs of tomorrow, while strengthening our existing assets and diversifying our economic base.
1. Retain, Expand and recruit businesses for vacant properties.
2. Develop relationships with property owners and meet with vacant property owners to help identify the properties’ best potential.
The ECDI Board will continue to work with everyone involved in our downtown waterfront community to strengthen and grow the heart of our city. As you can see, much lies ahead. We welcome your help — volunteer, give us suggestions, contribute money. You can call or write to me at: 252-338-4104, email@example.com or 106 S. Water St., Elizabeth City.