Rebirth of a City - Downtown Connellsville
Economic Restructuring
Chaired by Gerry Browell, 
Dave Marchewka and Laurie Hensel
Strengthening and diversifying the economic base of the
central business district.
Business Retention
Business Recruitment
New Economic Uses
Trade Area Information
Financial Incentive
 
2017 Meeting dates:
Meets 2nd Wednesday of the Month


2014 - 2017 Work Plan
 
Objective 1: Use and maintain recruitment and business support tools
 
1.    Business Welcome and Recruitment Information 
 
a.  Business Welcome Brochure including: demographics, downtown assets, events and attractions, investment activities, and business resources.
 
b. Available Space List - Provide downtown space information to potential new tenants in the form of an information sheet available at the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, and published on the Downtown Connellsville website http://www.downtownconnellsville.org/
 
c.  Façade Program Information - Publicize façade improvement funds information for existing and new businesses in the form of a flyer available at the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, and published on the Downtown Connellsville website http://www.downtownconnellsville.org/
 
2. Business Promotion Support
 
a.  Newspaper inserts, full page/centerfold newspaper ads, billboard ads, etc.
 
b. Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce e-blasts, newspaper press releases, newsletter articles
 
c. Grand openings, ribbon cuttings, business anniversaries, etc., with        pre/post event publicity
 
d.  Farmer's Market related promotions
 
 
Objective 2: Develop and maintain baseline data of downtown properties and inventory of businesses.
 
1. Continue to improve and expand information about downtown properties and businesses by surveying, cataloging and tracking over time how buildings are used, businesses operating in building, business demographics (type of business, best use of building, zoning, number of stories, square footage per floor and total, façade program participant, number of employees, sales volume, etc.).
 
 2. Review and purchase software to create a downtown map (graphic representation of building uses, vacancies, etc.) for display and make it available to any interested party (i.e. existing and potential businesses, foundations, government agencies, developers, Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, etc.).
 
Objective 3: Strengthen existing downtown businesses.
 
1.Continually assess downtown business’s strengths and weaknesses
 
2.  Analyze business community needs on an ongoing basis with surveys and focus groups .
 
3. Conduct semi-annual mixers with downtown businesses to discuss relevant business issues and share information on Downtown Connellsville Committee projects and activities. (To be conducted in cooperation with Steering Committee, Promotion Committee, Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, Connellsville Redevelopment Authority, etc.).
 
 4.  If a Downtown Connellsville Manager is retained, regularly visit downtown businesses and pursue all of the Work Plan Objectives.
 
Objective 4: Address problem properties in the downtown district
 
1. Develop a list of top 5 endangered/problem properties.
 
2.  Identify potential funding sources to assist in rehabilitation of problem properties.
 
3. Work with the City of Connellsville to address problem properties through code enforcement and other ordinances/strategies.
 
4.Acquire and develop a property redevelopment plan/case study for selected downtown buildings.
 
5. Improve the appearance of vacant storefronts for a more inviting streetscape incoordination with the Downtown Connellsville Design Committee.
 
Objective 5: Work with appropriate entities to improve downtown access and traffic flow/parking.                
 
1. Be a voice for downtown merchants in ongoing discussions with the City about maintenance,signage, cleanliness, and other related matters.
 
2. Educate downtown business and property owners, as well as downtown customers, about downtown parking availability.
 
3.Improve pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns to ease congestion and improve safety.
 
4. Undertake a comprehensive traffic and parking study, and support these efforts through publicity, administrative support, etc.
 
Objective 6: Provide Businesses and potential entrepreneurs with education and training opportunities.
 
1. Continue offering programs such as E-Magnify through Seton Hill University covering topics such as Business Planning, Management Skills, Financing Sources, QuickBooks, Social Media, Job Training, Employee Recruitment, Employee Retention, etc.
 
2. Develop programs with the Laurel Highlands Visitor Bureau, Penn State Fayette, and the Carnegie Free Library related to hospitality and tourism, such as a visitor Ambassador Program