Downtown Business Association gets a jump start from city coffers
Carson City plans to hire a consultant this summer to help re-form the Carson City Downtown Business Association.
Funding for the position is allocated at $15,000 for one year or however long it takes, says Joe McCarthy, economic development and redevelopment manager for Carson City.
A volunteer group founded in the late 1990s fizzled out due to lack of leadership, says McCarthy.
It disbanded in 2002.
The coordinator’s first task will be to help downtown businesses decide what should be the group’s focus.
Next, lay the financial plans.What kind of revenue stream is possible? What will it cost to get that flow going? What dues will be levied to support that cash flow? McCarthy stresses that a downtown association should not compete with the area Chamber of Commerce.
Rather, it should focus on joint destination marketing and special events.
A combination of dues and sponsorships will pay for those events.
The greatest challenge to building a vital downtown business association, says McCarthy, are real estate costs.
He estimates that commercial space costs $15 a square foot in town, compared to $5 in an undeveloped area on the outskirts.
“There’s no more cheap dirt in Carson City,” he says.
Concerned that a spate of COVID-19-related lawsuits could bankrupt businesses, members of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce implored the state’s congressional delegation during the chamber’s annual D.C. retreat to pass a federal liability protection measure.