Small Business Saturday, the local business answer to Black Friday (and now Tryptophan Thursday) calls on shoppers to patronize their locally owned businesses, injecting some dollars into the local economy. Since 2010 us Main Street types have cheered a day sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, giving local businesses some shopping publicity, and now American Express has sweetened the deal for cardholders who shop this Saturday. Here’s the deal: spend at least $10 at a qualifying local business (you can check the list here) and receive a $10 credit on your AMEX statement. However, it appears there are limited “slots” for cardholders to sign up to get this deal, so don’t delay. You can learn more here.
Thank you very much, American Express. I’ll take your $10 bribe and happily do some local shopping on Saturday in observance of Small Business Saturday. I hope you all will do the same. Happy Thanksgiving!
Update: Frank charged some delicious vanilla hazelnut bulk coffee from his favorite local coffee retailer, Cup o Joe, on Small Business Saturday!
Join us in beautiful downtown Millersburg, Ohio on November 6th as we hear from speakers around the state regarding the importance of marketing your Main Streets. The life and longevity of communities depend on effective marketing strategies. Learn from experts in the field on how cities can implement marketing to enhance public spaces. We are pleased to welcome Pat Williamsen, Katherine Buluva, and Jesse Mireles as our speakers for today’s workshop.
To register, please click here
Pat Williamsen, Executive Director for the Ohio Humanities Council, has been a member of the OHC staff off and on since 1985. From 1993 through 2001, she provided leadership to several cultural agencies, including a community symphony and a public access television station. She holds an MA in film history from the Ohio State University. An accomplished documentary photographer, Pat is working on several projects that involve family photographs made while traveling the United States and Europe.
Katherine Bulava specializes in communications-related strategic planning, media relations, public relations, digital media and public affairs. In January 2010, Bulava started HATHA COMMUNICATIONS, which specializes in working with organizations that focus on community development, economic development, foreclosure prevention, and neighborhood revitalization. Bulava has a wide range and extensive amount of experience including consultant work for political campaigns, major fundraising success as co-chair of SPACES, and has been a freelance journalist for Kaleidoscope Magazine. Bulava received a Certificate of Recognition from the Ohio Community Service Council from Make A Difference Day 2006, and was awarded the Best News Story from the Neighborhood & Community News Association in 2005.
Jesse Mireles, principal of Mireles Design, specializes in branding and logo development. His rich portfolio drawn from more than thirty years of work for businesses features work done for various fortune 500 companies, as well as for institutional and nonprofit organizations. As an Hispanic, born in Mexico, Jesse Mireles offers a bi-cultural background which has helped him approach his work with a global perspective that transcends borders and boundaries of culture and ethnicity. His company however is a full service design firm and continues to offer clients simple, direct, powerful visual design and marketing strategy for print, TV and electronic media. Among the many honors, Jesse Mireles’ work has been published in prestigious Logo Lounge International Identity Books; Volumes 2, 3, 4 and 7. His logos have also been included in the Logo Lounge Masters Library Series; Volume 2, Volume 3 and the latest published, Volume 4.
The Laura Jane Musser Fund
The Laura Jane Musser Fund was set up to continue Laura Jane Musser’s great work in personal philanthropy. The fund is divided into four categories: Arts Programs, Environmental, Intercultural Harmony, and Rural Initiative. The Rural Initiative program appears to be the most applicable to Main Street programs, focusing on encouraging participation and collaboration among citizens in rural communities. The fund focuses on projects related to education, arts and humanities, business preservation, economic developments, and public space improvements.
What You Need to Know
Since the Rural Initiative Program focuses on rural communities, the applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or less and “be able to demonstrate characteristics of a rural community. Projects must be able to demonstrate plans to complete the project within 18 months, support from a variety of community members and institutions, significant volunteer participation, and matching financial support from the community. Communities in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Ohio may apply.
What Projects Can Be Funded?
Funds are available for either planning of or implementation of programs, but not both. Up to $5,000 would be awarded to planning projects which could include hiring a consultant or staff, mailings, local travel, refreshments, and meeting costs. Up to $25,000 are available for implementation of projects which “originate in, have been planned by, and involve diverse people of the community.” The program will also cover new projects or programs within their first three years.
How Do I Apply?
Local units of Government, 501(c)(3) organizations, and organizations forming under the support of a 501(c)(3) are able to apply. Proposals will be accepted online through November 6, 2013, with announcements made February 2014.
You will need to include the following:
1. Short Overview
2. Proposal Narrative
4. Letters of Support/Fiscal Sponsor
5. IRS Status or Local Unit of Government
For a detailed description of each section, please click here:
To apply click here
*Priority will be given to projects that: actively include community members throughout the process, have measurable short term outcomes within the first 12-18 months, collaborate with a wide variety of community members and institutions, and work towards a positive outcome in the community.
Work continues on the Adler Building at Front Street and Main Street in downtown Columbus. In fact, for a building far from being completed, I’d say we’ve already seen an amazing transformation. Here’s how the building appeared earlier this summer. And the images below show the building on October 1.
They say that preservationists have the power to see the finished vision of a decrepit, dilapidated building, while everyone else can only see the building in its current state as an eyesore. I hope we’re all in the midst of witnessing this preservation truism at its best.
Hello, my name is Lindsay Marshall and I am an AmeriCorps member with Serve Ohio, serving at Heritage Ohio. I just moved here from Minneapolis, MN and am very excited to spend the year in Columbus and with Heritage Ohio. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a B.A. in archaeological studies and a minor in public history. I then journeyed to University of Vermont for a semester to study historic preservation and returned to St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN to finish my M.S. in cultural resources management. During grad school, I discovered my love for historic archaeology, vernacular architecture, and log building construction. My thesis focused on identifying settlement patterns of immigrants in Carver County, MN, and identifying how far into the Americanization process these settlers were, as seen through log building construction.
Besides historic preservation and historic architecture, I also love watching roller derby, finding amazing deals at thrift stores, checking out restaurants and festivals, and testing new recipes. I’m looking forward to exploring Ohio and gaining a ton of experience this year!
One important piece of any retailer’s strategy is how best to hold onto, and grow the relationship with, your repeat customers. Repeat customers can be the lifeblood of a successful business because: 1) your best customers tend to outspend a regular customer by a $16:1 ratio, and 2) 67% of customers stop shopping at a location because of perceived indifference.
A good loyalty program can encourage your customers to buy more, shop more often, and build their loyalty to the store (creating “sticky” customers), all while you as the retailer continue to build your customer database. Plus, the loyalty program doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
Here’s one example of how a loyalty program could work: after six sales, 10% of the total sales goes back to the customer as a store credit. So if a customer spends $165.27 over the course of six sales then after the sixth sale the customer has a store credit to spend of $16.53. Easy, no?
The loyalty “card” itself doesn’t have to be especially elaborate: an index card marked with six boxes to record sales is all you need. The cards are kept at the front counter and the sales are recorded at checkout. Google “customer loyalty card” for examples to get the creative juices flowing.
If you’re considering adding this program, or tweaking an existing program, there are some things to keep in mind:
Redemption is addictive Anyone who has and keeps the “buy 10 get one free” coffee sleeve can attest to the feeling of accomplishment after that tenth punch, and the desire to start a new card. Redemption through this loyalty program is the same way.
If launching the program, do so with a bang Consider adding a $100 purchase box after the first purchase so customers can get to redemption quicker. If $100 is a bit steep considering average sales or pricing on your merchandise then make it $50. Either way, your either investing $5 or $10 into strengthening the relationship with your best (or soon to be best) customers. It’s money well-spent.
Incentivizing the program is only limited by your creativity (or ability to rip off and duplicate) One store with a customer loyalty program offers a special deal for its frequent shoppers. Customers that fill out and redeem three cards receive a shopping bag. Customers can then use that bag on special days for 20% off everything that fits in the bag. The bag is branded to the store, it’s sharp, and the only way to get a bag is to complete three loyalty cards. While the customer feels like they’re getting a great shopping incentive (and they are) the store owner has 18 sales and a customer invested heavily into maintaining and strengthening the retailer-customer relationship (ie, continuing to spend, and spend more).
Use the program to promote your store and get customers through the door Offering incentives such double dollar days, double box days, referrals, and out of town guests, markets your store, building your customer base while strengthening the relationship with your best customers.
Depending on your customer cycle, tweak your box count A coffee shop with repeat customers on a daily basis may have a ten-box card before redemption, while a furniture store may have a card with only three boxes before redemption. The key is to make redemption attainable. A loyalty program few can take advantage of because redemption is nearly unattainable is a waste of your time and your customers’ time.
Do you have, or participate in a customer loyalty program that works especially well for your store? Tell us about it in the comments below.
That’s right! The Gentlemen of the Road Troy Stopover is happening August 30-31, and we’re saying “Thank you!” to our Facebook friends and Heritage Ohio members. You have a chance to win two passes (camping passes also included) by entering our contest below. In the comments section below just let us know which Ohio Treasure you would save and why, and you’re entered. Anyone who has liked us on Facebook and is a current Heritage Ohio member is eligible to win! If you’re not yet a member, you can easily and quickly join online here. If you haven’t like us on Facebook yet, you can do so here.
Our contest closes one week from today, Monday, August 19, at 5pm and we’ll announce the winner Monday at 6pm. Good luck!
An article caught my eye the other day. The Durham, North Carolina, Herald-Sun posted an article about the expansion of the Cleveland-Holloway historic district, and the ensuing controversy regarding which properties to include in the expansion, and which properties to exclude. You can read the article here.
Particularly, one 2-acre lot has been at the center of the conversation: a vacant (but prime for development) parcel. So, why would a vacant parcel be included in a historic district? Without any historic resources, how does the parcel warrant inclusion? The answer may have something to do with the properties surrounding the lot, and what future development on the lot might look like. However, before we try to get to the bottom of the vacant lot and the historic district, let’s talk a little about the initial process for determining the inclusion of resources in a historic district.
Evaluating a property to understand its historic significance can sometimes get complicated. The National Park Service (NPS), through its National Register Bulletins, provides a framework we can use to guide us through the evaluation process. By determining integrity, which the NPS defines as “the ability of a property to convey its significance,” we can come to a good conclusion about whether a property would be eligible for inclusion in the National Register, or a contributing resource in a local design review district.
When we consider the integrity of a resource, we’re looking for signs of how the resource has changed or hasn’t changed through the decades. If I’m asked to judge the integrity of a resource, I ask myself this question first: if we could bring the original builder/occupant of the property forward in time to join us today, would he or she recognize the property as their own? Has the neighborhood changed radically since the building was constructed? Has the building itself changed radically over the years? The less sure I am that time traveler would recognize the building, the less sure I am that building retains the integrity needed to be considered a historic resource.
And when we judge integrity, the NPS asks to us to judge based on seven different aspects, including location, design, and setting, among others. Location often comes down to, as you might expect, physical placement, and usually comes into play when a property has been moved. Design may focus on the single property and its appearance, a streetscape, or the entire district, and oftentimes these aspects all help to determine significance and integrity. Not only is the alteration of the building important to consider; alterations in the vicinity of the building that alter design must also be considered. Finally, setting considers the character of the property in question. A good example of loss of setting: the historic 1830s farmstead constructed on a 200 acre farm that has been subsequently swallowed up by subdivisions of new homes on the land. Even though the original house still exists, the surrounding land has been so severely altered that it would be difficult to capture the feel of the property as a working farm. If you want to dive into the different aspects of integrity, you can read more here.
In the case of the Durham expansion, I think the central issue comes down to this: future construction on the vacant lot could compromise the integrity of the local district as a whole, based on the aspects of design and setting. Therefore, one way to stave off future construction that doesn’t fit into the character of the district is to add the vacant parcel to the district, thereby (if the ordinance is written to provide oversight for infill/new construction) putting future construction under design review. In the case of the Durham expansion, the current property owners don’t want the added layer of regulation, while many of the adjacent owners don’t want an out-of-scale development that could jeopardize the character of the district.
If this controversy came before you, how would you resolve this issue? Traditionally, historic districts were enacted to preserve significant properties. But, when we consider design and setting when evaluating the integrity of significant properties, adjoining parcels and what’s built on them can influence the look of the district, for better or worse.
You can provide your thoughts in the comments section below.
We have a terrific training coming up in Troy later this month (register here) on the arts as a driver of community economic development. Arts professionals from across the state will share their insights on building arts programs from scratch, pairing arts programs with comprehensive revitalization strategies, securing program funding, and creating arts programs in small towns.
Kathy Cain of the Ohio Arts Council will share information about funding opportunities for local arts initiatives and arts programs. Robb Hankins will share his experiences with starting a local arts program, and funding the program on a shoestring budget. Linda Parsons will guide attendees through the process of creating a local arts program in a small town.
If your community could benefit from injecting life into your existing arts program, or starting a new arts program from scratch, then plan on joining us in Troy on June 26th.
Incorporating the Arts in Urban Revitalization
June 26, 10AM-5PM
The Market Square Community Room
405 SW Public Square, Third Floor
Free to Main Street programs and Downtown Affiliates as a benefit of membership
$75 for Heritage Ohio Members
$125 for non-Members
Join Heritage Ohio today to start receiving member benefits!
Added bonus! While you’re here for the training, check out Troy Main Street’s special event, Sculptures on the Square. The sixth installment of this popular event features sculptor Seward Johnson’s bronze statues. Sculptures on the Square brings art into the public realm, encouraging people to come downtown and experience everything downtown Troy has to offer.
About our speakers
Program Coordinator, Ohio Arts Council
Kathy Cain joined the OAC in September 1984. During her tenure at the OAC, Ms. Cain has worked in several program areas. Currently, she is a program coordinator for organizations in the eastern and central sections of the state, including Ohio’s entire Appalachian region, Columbus and central Ohio. Ms. Cain also coordinates the Ohio Artist on Tour program and the International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour. The Ohio Artist on Tour program enables Ohio’s arts organizations to tap into the creative potential of Ohio artists to enrich their programming and the vitality of their communities. The International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour program provides the opportunity for organizations to bring international performing arts to their communities. Ms. Cain is a past recipient of the Ohio Arts Presenter Network’s Award of Merit for service to the performing arts. Ms. Cain lives in Lancaster with her husband, Gary, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
President & CEO, ArtsinStark
Robb Hankins has spent the last 30 years directing city, county and state arts agencies in eight different states. He has managed annual arts campaigns, arts festivals, public art projects, arts education programs, and downtown arts districts.
Robb arrived in October 2005 to become the President & CEO of ArtsinStark, the County Arts Council. The organization called ArtsinStark today was founded in 1968 to build the Cultural Center for the Arts. ArtsinStark’s mission is “to use the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities.” ArtsinStark gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign. For the last 7 years ArtsinStark’s Annual Arts Campaign has made its fundraising goal every year, and has increased giving to the arts by nearly 75%. In May 2013 it raised $1.7 million, the highest amount in its 40 year history. ArtsinStark is the winner of the 2012 Governor’s Award for the Arts.
CEO and Artistic Director, ArtWorks
Tamara Harkavy is the founding director of ArtWorks. Since its launch in 1996 as a job-training and employment program for talented teens, ArtWorks has become a leader in employing artists of all ages, creating public art and initiating innovative arts programming for the city of Cincinnati. Under her leadership, ArtWorks has employed more than 2,500 youth and over 500 professional artists to work on countless arts projects. Many of these works of art remain in public and private venues, as testaments to the artistic talents of the participants. Tamara and her team were also the creative force behind the Big Pig Gig in 2000 and again in 2012. ArtWorks is now hard at work on its many initiatives, including its community mural program, its entrepreneurial training program, SpringBoard, and its ArtRX offerings, in which they create art for and with hospital patients and their families.
ArtWorks was the winner of the 2010 City Livability Award, by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for its mural program. Tamara was invited by U.S. Representative Steve Driehaus to be the Key-note speaker to address the winners of the 2010 Congressional Art Competition. ArtWorks has also been awarded three prestigious Post-Corbett Awards, the Ambassador Award from the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a Community Impact Award from the American Marketing Association, and recognition from Hillary Rodham Clinton for ArtWorks’ leadership and vision.
Tamara, a 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, serves on the board of Tender Mercies and was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund. She has co-chaired two major events celebrating Israel’s 50th and 65th birthdays for Cincinnati’s Jewish Federation and acts in an advisory capacity for many smaller arts organizations. She has recently joined the group CEOs for Cities. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. She is the mother of jazz drummer Ben Sloan, and is married to artist and real estate guy, Matthew Kotlarczyk.
Trustee, Yellow Springs Art Council
Appraiser & Art Dealer, Linda L Parsons Art Sales
Linda owns and manages an art appraisal service near Yellow Springs. She began appraising and dealing art in Denver, Colorado, with offices at the historic Zang Mansion. She later opened a business in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was a silent partner in the now defunct “Denver Rio Grande” gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her current business maintains connections in Denver, Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Linda has served as board member and president of the “American Art Society” in Cincinnati, whose mission involves research and preservation of American painters and sculptors. She brings arts gallery management and business skills to YSAC.
It’s May, so you know what that means: Preservation Month!
This year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen the theme “See! Save! Celebrate!” to help spur the creative juices when it comes to highlighting preservation in your community. Here are three ways you can recognize Preservation Month in your community using the Trust’s theme.
See! Architectural Scavenger Hunt
What better way to get your residents to take a fresh look at your historic resources than by holding an architectural scavenger hunt? Long-time residents may see your historic neighborhoods in a new light, and new residents may be interested in a fun activity such as this to learn more about a community’s special buildings.
The idea is to identify unique architectural features that make your historic buildings special (elaborate window designs, stained glass transoms, intricate cornices) and then to publish a guide of the features. Contestants then investigate the neighborhood to match the feature to the building and its location, and enter a drawing for a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be especially elaborate. A popular item I’ve seen is gift certificates to community businesses for the winner.
Save! Hold a special lecture on the importance of historic preservation
Whether you’re focused on the benefits of preserving historic wooden windows, or the architectural history of your community, preservation at its heart is about preserving the special, unique qualities of our built environment. Your historic buildings and neighborhoods are absolutely unique to your community, and your residents will care so much more about your historic stock when they learn what it is about a building’s architecture and history that makes it unique.
In Main Street we’re always selling the importance of using existing assets as the foundation of building a great revitalization program, so let people know about your historic assets. What exactly provides the character that makes your town unlike any other? An old building that’s just known as an old building is too easy to forget and neglect, but a building with stories and architectural character can become a landmark and a source of preservation pride.
Celebrate! Recognize your community’s preservation accomplishments with an awards ceremony
Recognize recent building rehabs, tireless volunteers, and leadership organizations with a special ceremony, giving your recipients a chance to take a victory lap in front of their peers and neighbors. Preservation Awards hardly ever include a cash prize, but that’s ok because public recognition is a powerful way to say “thank you” to someone who is raising the profile of preservation in your community.
To add some weight to the awards process, look at partnering with another entity. For example, the Michigan SHPO partners with the governor’s office to present the “Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation.” The ceremony is held at the state capitol and you can bet recipients feel honored to be recognized in such an important setting.
Heritage Ohio is celebrating May as Preservation Month in a couple different ways. We’re holding our annual photography contest (and we’ve extended the deadline for entries to May 24), and we will honor the best accomplishments in preservation & revitalization at our Annual Awards Luncheon on May 23, during our annual conference. We hope you’ll submit a photo, join us in Columbus at our Annual Awards Luncheon, or participate in a local Preservation Month activity as we all work to raise the profile of preservation in Ohio.