By Lindsey Wooten – Over the past year volunteers on Wayne Main Street’s (WMS) Business Empowerment Committee have been conducting in-person surveys at all of the downtown businesses located in the Main Street district.
The purpose of the survey was to not only introduce the Main Street program to the business community, but to learn how the Main Street program can best serve the small businesses located in Downtown Wayne.
WMS would like to thank all businesses involved in the survey for cooperating; it has provided important insight that is highly valued! To read the complete results, visit http://downtownwayne.org/business/surveyresults/. Please note that all responses were the voices of the business community and may not represent the opinions or views of Wayne Main Street.
How can Wayne Main Street help you with your business?
· Promotional events
· Cooperative advertising
· Help with gaining more support
from the municipality
· Fill vacant buildings
· Assist with facade improvements
· Increase foot traffic
· Slow down vehicle traffic
· Downtown cleanups
What types of seminars or training would you be interested in attending?
· Social media (27 responses)
· Business incentives (14)
· Grants (9)
· Retail assistance (8)
· Help with understanding
What type of new business would you like to see in Downtown Wayne?
· Coffee shop
· Nice restaurants
· Health food store
· Upscale consignment
· Mom & pop shops
In response to information gathered from this survey, WMS has been working towards catering to the local business community’s needs. Last November, WMS hosted the first annual Small Business Saturday event and plans to continue this effort each year to promote shopping locally for the holidays. The first annual Holiday Window Display Contest was another success last year that helped light up Downtown Wayne for the holiday shopping season.
In March WMS hosted a business workshop called “Let’s Put Wayne on the Map!” in partnership with Google to increase business’ web presence on Google Maps. The next business workshop took place in June of this year featuring Jacob Schroeder from Pure Michigan Business Connect and the City of Wayne’s Community Development Director Peter McInerny to answer questions about Wayne’s sign ordinance. Business workshops are open to all businesses located in Wayne!
Efforts to fill vacant buildings downtown are multifaceted, but one project that recently took place was an event called “I Wish This Was…” to showcase a vacant building and host a mini community visioning session inside or near the property during the Wayne Sidewalk Sales. It is likely that this event will be held at another vacant property soon.
Another program that Main Street launched this year is the Facade Grant Incentive Program available to property owners in the Main Street district to “bring history back to downtown storefronts” while encouraging private investment. The first year of this program saw two applicants, and the grant was awarded to the owner of 3023 S. Wayne Road in the amount of $9,957.50.
Downtown Clean Up Days have been planned over the past few years by Wayne Main Street, and more are sure to come! This year WMS strayed from the Spring Clean Up because another group expressed interested in spearheading the effort. Our newly formed Junior Main Street Committee recently organized a downtown clean-up after the Cruisin’ US12 event with much success – over 30 people came to lend a helping hand!
Needless to say, there is still plenty of work left to do. Wayne Main Street is a completely volunteer driven, non-profit organization that depends on community support through financial commitments and time given.
Wayne Main Street’s Executive Director, Lindsey Wooten, is happy to answer any questions you may have about this article or the Main Street program. Feel free to call (734) 629-6822, or stop by the Main Street Office located inside the Wayne Historical Museum (1 Towne Square Street).
Street has moved
In what is expected to be a mutually beneficial move, Wayne Main Street will be relocating to the Wayne Historical Museum.
The program currently has an office in the Wayne Activities and Banquet Center. The Wayne City Council voted to approve the concept so a contract can be developed.
“We envision a similar agreement to the one that allows them in this building,” Wayne Community Development Director Peter McInerney said.
The museum had been open six hours a week recently — 1-4 p.m. Thursday and Fridays. Museum manager Richard Story resigned in June.
“The museum is not closed. It’s open by appointment. People who need to be there, we’ll get them in there,” McInerney said. “We hope to have more hours for the public.”
Part of the agreement with Wayne Main Street would include the program providing the basic public service formerly provided by the museum manager, he said.
Wayne Main Street’s Executive Director is working closely with the Wayne Historical Commission and Historical Society to develop a museum docent program and would eventually like to see hours of operation expanded. For now the museum will remain “open by appointment” until volunteer schedules are finalized.