GBA praises city

  • Friday, September 5, 2014

To the Editor:

The Georgetown Business Association (GBA) congratulates the City of Georgetown for several initiatives recently announced.

Our elected officials and appointed employees receive their share of grief, but also need to be recognized for the many positive things they do for the City of Georgetown.

The recent USDA grant, moving forward on the Broad Street initiative, the Main Street Program, and the branding and marketing of our city are all steps in the right direction.

All these projects, individually and collectively, will effectively promote Georgetown, bring more visitors and potential business owners, improve economic development and continue to put Georgetown on the tourism and industry map.

The GBA is pleased to have played a role in these and other initiatives to strengthen business and tourism in our city.

This is what we do as a catalyst organization, we identify opportunities, develop game plans to make them a reality and then often pass the plans on to organizations that can implement them on an annual basis.

The GBA initially brought up the Broad St. initiative over 2 years ago and set up a meeting between the Dept. of Transportation Chairman, GBA representatives and elected city officials.

Since then we have been instrumental in keeping the lines of communications open with the DOT and the governors office. We stand ready to assist the City in making this opportunity a reality.

In terms of new initiatives for collaboration, members of the GBA have been suggesting the need for a boutique hotel on Front Street for quite some time, but especially since the fire last year.

Some of our board members have been actively pursuing this and gathering the pertinent information needed to bring this idea to fruition. Kudos to the city for taking a leadership role in this initiative.

The new marketing and advertising plan the City is working on might be the most

exciting project of all. The initial response to the branding platform has been extraordinarily positive.

GBA’s commitment to make Georgetown a destination for visitors has been a major focus since our founding. We have partnered with the City to develop a comprehensive city specific cross media campaign, combining print, television, radio and online marketing for the City.

It was a huge success and for two and a half years we saw an increase in visitors to Georgetown as a direct result of the ad campaign.

It is exciting to see this revitalized initiative and we welcome the opportunity to continue sharing our expertise and passion for this great city, telling the Georgetown story to a large and diverse audience and bringing more visitors to our city.

The City has also stepped up since the devastating Front St. fire last year, and has not

received the credit due them.

The City has worked with the property owners, state and federal government agencies and individuals affected by the fire and have gone above and beyond their specific responsibilities to help Georgetown move forward.

The GBA is honored to have been a small part of this. We started the Front Street Fire Relief Fund the day of the fire and organized a committee to distribute the funds the following week.

The committee had representatives from the GBA, Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the City and County of Georgetown.

Over a 6 month period over $205,000 was raised and distributed to employees, business owners and displaced residents.

We all know Georgetown is a hidden gem that has almost unlimited potential in so many areas.

The core mission of GBA is to translate that incredible potential into reality through creative, well-conceived and effectively delivered initiatives.

The synergy of collaborating with the City simply magnifies the effectiveness of our mission. The impact of public and private entities working together will be a powerful economic driver.

The GBA will continue to bring events such as Music in the Park, the Mardi Gras Festival, the Blessing of the Fleet, Shop Local, Independents Week and other festivals and events to our residents and visitors.

We will also continue to work with the City of Georgetown, other civic organizations and with our merchants on projects that will positively enhance our city.

We thank the City for all they do and pledge our enthusiastic support as we look forward to seeing the results of these and other initiatives in the future.

Al Joseph and Matt Wesolowski

Past and current presidents – Georgetown Business Association

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