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  • 05/19/2020 9:10 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    As Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) works to assist communities to connect and learn from one another, the powerful trend of community fundraising and online sales is flooding in. DCI reached out to a few successful efforts to understand the process, partners, and price tag for doing an auction. We are pleased to share some examples of communities that held successful online auctions to rally the community in a new and profound way. They have shared their experiences and takeaways in hope that we can all learn and get better at navigating this tool. Thank you to the partners who generously shared their information:


    1. Chaffee County - Now This is Love Auction TeamChaffee County Visitors Bureau, Salida Chamber Of Commerce, Salida Business Alliance, and Buena Vista Chamber Of Commerce partnered to create an online auction and storefront for businesses in Chaffee County to sell gift cards, products and services amidst the challenges of COVID-19. 
    2. Cañon City Partners - Royal Gorgeous: Cañon City COVID-19 Business Leader Taskforce, The City of Cañon City, City of Florence, Fremont County Tourism Council, Cañon City Chamber of Commerce, Vistaworks, and Daily Record local newspaper. Vistaworks volunteered their man-hours to set up the website and run the marketing campaign at cost, and the Chamber of Commerce employees volunteered their time to carry-out the online auction.
    3. Leadville/Lake County - Share the Love Auction Team: Local business owners came to their partners at the City of Leadville, Main Street Program, Chamber of Commerce, Lake County Economic Development Corporation, Lake County Community Fund, Leadville Herald-Democrat local newspaper, Lake County Tourism Panel to run an auction to benefit their businesses along with the existing Lake County School District Arts program and the Lake County Emergency Relief Fund.


      AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS

      COMMUNITY

      Chaffee County: Now This is Love Auction

      Canon City: Royal Gorgeous Deals

      Leadville/Lake County: Share the Love Auction

      TIMELINE

      The online auction went live just 3 days after conception, ran for 10 days

      From start to finish, money was in the hands of the businesses within 15 days.

      The live auction ran for 14 days.

      Main Street partnered with the existing Lake County School District Arts Program auction 9 days before launch date. The auction ran for 12 days

      SELLERS + PRODUCTS

      There were 871 different items in the auction from gift cards to art and even furniture. There were 2,017 different items sold in the auction

      58 businesses, one business had 13 artists participate. 223 products uploaded. Our digital marketing reached 1.5 million people and the site had over 30,000 browsers.

      Over 30 local small businesses benefited, in addition to approximately 20 more on behalf of the Lake County School District Arts Program

      TOTALS

      The overall auction generated $116,514.88. 100% of all sales went directly back to each business.

      The overall auction generated only $9,400 in sales. 93.5% went back to the businesses

      Cañon City did not have an independent fund adequate enough to absorb the 6.5% fees. This was an inhibitor for businesses to participate.

      Approximately $50,000 in total sales/donations was raised

      • Approximately $40,000 in sales to local businesses
      • Approximately $5,000 in donations to Lake County Emergency Relief Fund
      • Approximately $5,000 in sales/donations benefiting Lake County School District Arts program

    TIPS FOR SUCCESS

    NUTS + BOLTS

    • Create a shared spreadsheet system to organize the data and share buyer information with business owners.
    • Have a single point of contact for businesses to cut down on any confusion, redundant messaging, and build trust amongst all auction participants.
    • Create a form to process incoming items and a FAQ for buyers and sellers: Check out the example from the Now This is Love Auction https://www.colorfulcolorado.com/auction/. Be sure to communicate any limits/restrictions, in addition to responsibilities of businesses (taxation, shipping, etc.) clearly to participants when promoting – make sure that your partners are on board
    • Set, track and update realistic goals to give customers a tangible feeling of how their contribution is pushing the program forward (Share the Love started at a goal of $10,200, we approached that goal in the first two days, thanked the customers for helping us to reach that goal, raised to $25,000, then raised again to $50,000 – repeat as necessary!). New auction items can be added daily so buyers will continue to check back and purchase more items.
    • Set limits on total amount of items each participant can list to encourage broad participation (there are likely limits, per level of hosting fees, on the total number of items that can be posted). If an item was sold as a "Buy Now”, businesses can restock the auction.


    BUILD STRONG PARTNERSHIPS 

    • Promotions/Advertising – reached a broad audience of prospective local business participants and prospective customers utilizing all tools available to each stakeholder/partner
    • Shared Costs – despite unexpectedly high transaction fees, sharing the costs between three partners (Main Street Program, Chamber of Commerce and EDC) made final costs palatable/justifiable for each organization – no fees were passed through to either business participants or customers
    • Utilize individual strengths of participants and maximize volunteer contributions


    DONATION OPTION

    Offer customers option of donating directly to one or more non-profit beneficiaries

    BE FLEXIBLE
    It is likely that the needs/desires/challenges faced by your local business community are unique – be prepared to pivot if the feedback you receive makes sense to improve your program’s chances of success – again make sure all of your partners are on board with proposed improvements

    LESSONS LEARNED

    1. UNDERSTAND THE FEE STRUCTURE. Explore all options for online auction hosting and online payments. 32auctions, eBay, etc. and PayPal, Stripe, etc. Consider hosting on a local site/storefront as well.
      Here is an example of processing fees:
      • Payment Amount = $100
      • 32auctions Fee = $3.30
      • PayPal or Stripe Fee = $3.20
      • Amount Raised = $93.50
         
    2. CONSOLIDATE ACCOUNTS. Funnel all funds through one account on PayPal/Stripe. Preferably a non-profit account to avoid higher fees
    3. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Have a detailed plan in place for the immediate distribution of funds after the auction to get the funds in the hands of your business community and non-profit partners as quickly as possible.
    4. CLEAR GUIDELINES + POLICIES. Make sure the sellers note state local policies. i.e. sales taxation issues – donations vs. retail sales, etc. As well as noting shipping policies/information in their item description, e.g. Local pickup only, shipping not included, shipping included, etc. Be detailed about the process for both buyers and sellers and make sure they understand what is expected of them.  
    5.  ROTATE FEATURING ITEMS FOR SALE. With a lot of products to sift through, we noticed an uptick in sales after the website rotated featuring the more popular and desirable items to sale. 
  • 05/18/2020 9:26 AM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our eighth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on ideas and approaches to consider when reopening becomes an option. 

    Matthew Bossler, PLA, of SHIFT Planning and Design, LLC shared suggestions and examples of solutions for converting outdoor spaces into additional restaurant seating to follow social distancing guidelines when places reopen. Along with outdoor spaces for restaurant use there is a coinciding adjustment needed for liquor licenses. DCI has worked with our District Committee, made up of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs) from around the state and our DCI Board Member, Rick Kron, to draft a letter to Governor Polis asking for an executive order concerning liquor license adjustments to be made at the local level during these unprecedented times to allow municipalities to determine how best to extend the area where service can be provided to help businesses survive. 

    Current Situation
    COVID-19 has impacted everybody, especially restaurants, retail businesses, and personal care service businesses. Restaurants and retail businesses have been able to minimize the amount of people inside their establishments by doing curbside pickups and delivery service. Personal care service businesses are slowly opening up with new rules to follow social distancing guidelines. As the state slowly opens, and people are allowed to come outside of their homes for less essential items, there is a need for space that accommodates social distancing guidelines. Consumers are cautiously coming out of their homes, but many are still hesitant since there is still much uncertainty of controlling the spread of COVID-19.  Adaptation of outdoor spaces will be a very important tool in extending restaurant and business space and building consumer trust during the initial reopening stage.  


    Initial Reopening Stage Components 

    1. Modification of Public Space: How can we redesign open spaces for safety and social distancing?

    2. Ensure Main Street Survives: How can communities avoid block after block of empty storefronts?


    Public space modification will be very important to ensure there is plenty of opportunity for pedestrians and consumers to practice social distancing. Looking at the current state of public space and what needs to be modified is an important step in taking the needed action.


    PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

    DISTANCING MEASURES

    5 foot sidewalk space to pass outdoor diners

    Need closer to 10-12 foot clearway with social distancing 6 feet guidelines 

    Multiple Travel traffic Lanes

    Convert the travel lane into the parallel parking lane, and make the parallel parking lane into outdoor seating area for nearby restaurants with barrier between diners and moving cars 

    Parallel Parking Lanes between travel lane and sidewalk

    Put Parklets in the parallel parking zone, and have area that is for curbside pickup zone

    Parking lots that are under capacity

    Use as an outdoor space with social distancing guidelines for restaurants and businesses 



    Critical Partners to Help Implement Adaptations

    • Environmental designers will play a major role in the creativity and adaptation needed for modification of outdoor spaces. 

    • Private Consultants 

    • Nonprofit Consultants


    Rural Community Consideration
    Many rural communities have main streets that are wide state highways. Colorado rural communities need to collaborate with CDOT and emphasize how important the outdoor space modification solutions are to assist in supporting their local businesses and economies. Collaboration with state representatives and governmental entities will further help in working with CDOT. 

    Street As Marketplaces Presentation
    Matthew Bossler’s put together the Street As Marketplaces Presentation with ideas and examples for reopening in outdoor spaces. See the Street As Marketplaces Presentation for the full presentation which includes more info on the topics below..

    Steps for Looking at Modification Ideas

    1. Start with a list of obstacles that exist for distancing

    2. For each hindrance, list the possible solutions that can be done at the local level

    3. For each hindrance, list the possible solutions that can be done at the state level

    4. Knowing your organizational structures will help to identify what entity can be your district champion.

    See the Street As Marketplaces Presentation for examples.  

    Make it Attainable: Break it into Phases
    Phase 1:
    - Citywide organization and advocacy
    - One-page process guidance to businesses 
    -Initial pilots (main street focused)

    Phase 2:
    - Citywide organization and advocacy
    - Pattern book for each commercial district type 
    - Second-phase pilots (other than main street)

    Phase 3:
    - Application to rest of city; coordination with other cities

    See the Street as Marketplaces Presentation for more info


    Potential Funding 
    (Source: Matthew Bossler, Street as Marketplaces Presentation)

    Seed 
    - CO COVID RELIEF FUND (<$25K) – Next deadline: May 16
    - Business Improvement District / DDA rainy-day funds
    - Municipal business assistance grants
    - Contracts for strategic program development (via commissioners/council/executive decree, etc.)
    - Impacted businesses (Staff Training, Physical Resources, Insurance extensions, consultant/non-profit support)
    - Community groups (RNOs, non-profits)
    - Civic resources (botanic gardens, convention centers, etc.)

    Sustenance
    - Economic Development Authority (EDA)’s CARES Act funding
    - Economic Recovery Planning and Technical Assistance Grants
    - State/local govt. recovery and resiliency strategies,
    - others
    - Reallocation of funds earmarked for tangential transportation planning and economic development projects
    - CITY FUNDING
    - EXECUTIVE BRANCH (PUBLIC HEALTH, DOE, DOTI, CPD, OSE, ETC.)
    - DEDICATED PUBLIC STAFF HOURS (including police as security?)
    - DEDICATED PHYSICAL RESOURCES (railings, trash cans, barricades, etc.)

    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS

    The question we need to ask ourselves for our communities is What can we put in place so that when we get the go -ahead to reopen, we are ready and have the least amount of barriers?

    If we can collect some seed money to get this started, where/how do we spend the money to get it going successfully?
    Reach out to private consultants and nonprofit consultants. They are still open and are dedicated to this work. Show the dedication to the implementation, continue to have conversation, coordination and work with city staff and other community stakeholders. Set a goal for having 2 pilots of the implementation. 

    How will you handle alcohol in a larger environment; i.e. how to get across sidewalks, into parking lots.  Most licenses are restricted to the existing space?
    We are currently working on this, through the drafting of the letter to send to the governor for the decision to be made at the local level. Continue asking state electives for the needed rapid change or temporary reprieve so that we can help businesses survive. Also look into common consumption areas and entertainment districts and the possibility in expediting the creation of them. Also consider liability packages that could cover multiple businesses in one area.

    From a design perspective, it would seem prudent to accommodate greater bicycle travel and bike parking. (Parking spaces will be lost and should be addressed.) These can be done simply as corrals - either roped off or cordoned off in some other manner. The setting should be aesthetically pleasing and easy to get into/through.  Other suggestions?
    For the aesthetics aspect lean onto existing entities such as a parks & recreations department or botanical garden. Reach out to nurseries who could provide planters , hay bales, straw bales and other resources rapidly for creating bike lanes. There is also a cheaper option of buckets with concrete and a post to attach ropes along the bike lane, even though that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing. Pallets can be used to make bike racks. Bicycles play an important role in crowd control and social distancing.

    Downtowns are vital, so levelling up the quality of material in the downtown area is something to consider. Other things to consider include if there is a concern about loss of parking from bike lanes, on street dining would cause the same loss of parking. 

    Another thing to consider is that the use of parallel parking for on street dining takes away the pedestrian buffer that parked cars provide between traveling cars and sitting people. Look at the possibility of pushing the parallel parking lane one lane closer to the center lane.

    Any advice on how to approach parklets or one-lane closures on main streets that are also business highways? e.g. Manitou downtown!
    There is a precedent in Salida and Louisville, Colorado of converting parking into parklets. Neither of them are on highways but there is a precedent which helps. Long term parklets usually range around $25,000 per slot, but that includes the permitting process. The permitting process could possibly be reduced and simplified considering the current circumstances, which requires collaboration and conversation.  There may be an opportunity for cheaper parklet solutions as well.

    I understand there must be at least 5 feet of sidewalk space for people to pass by outdoor seating?  Is that correct?
    Realistically, with the social distancing guidelines of 6 feet it’s closer to 10-12 feet on both sides of diners since there needs to be space for people passing. 


    Streets As Marketplaces Presentation

    Public Spaces Google Resources Folder

    Liquor License Letter to the Governor

    May 14th Call Recording


    Matthew Bossler, PLA | SHIFT Planning and Design, LLC
    Matthew’s 15 years of experience in planning, landscape architecture, ecological design, urban design, and public policy synthesize in practice at SHIFT Planning and Design, LLC. The core philosophy of SHIFT is to form planning and design solutions that encourage the evolution of our regions, cities, small areas, and properties within them, in order to better meet both immediate and future needs. At the city scale, Matthew advises decision-makers and guides community groups to form urban planning solutions that set the stage for quality urbanism. At the site scale, Matthew offers property owners, developers, and project partners rapid urban design and development scenario modeling, conceptual site plans and yield studies, as well as complete landscape construction documentation, including everything from urban plazas to naturalized riverfronts.



  • 05/11/2020 9:40 AM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    DCI had our seventh webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on the state’s Adaptation Committee with a quick overview of the statewide survey results.

    Kate Guibert from the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) shared adaptation ideas and approaches as the state slowly opens. Michelle Kobayashi from NRC/Polco shared the statewide survey preliminary results, along with support from Reid Aronstein and Daniel Salvetti from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). 

    Adaptation Tools/ Ideas
    The Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO) is continuing to discuss how we adapt, create, and provide resources for communities across Colorado during these unprecedented times. The committee is focused on the reopening phase and how to do that safely.  These unprecedented times require  creativity, collaboration and willingness to experiment. The experimentation component requires being okay with failure, which provides opportunity for learning and adaptation. Categorizing the various areas that are important in the experimentation stage help with the proposing of new ideas and experimentation.


    The focus areas of the Colorado Resiliency Office include::

    • Resiliency and community recovery program

    • Long-term recovery

    • State and local technical assistance

    • State investments and grants programs

    • Metrics and targets

    • Policy advocacy on federal resilience efforts 


    Along with the focus areas, looking at the vision of “What we want the other side of this pandemic to look like” is important. Rules and regulations have adapted in response to the pandemic and have provided the opportunity to see what those rule adjustments bring and the possibility of maintaining some of the changes in the post-covid state. 

    Collaboration and experiences from the local level, especially those from industry and small businesses are necessary throughout the experimentation process which guides response and recovery.  The response and recovery process will especially include what tourism will look like at various stages and what as well as how messaging will be conveyed to the public. 


    Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) Resources for Communications with Public:
    Wait, Ready, Set, Go! Campaign Webinar 
    CTO Website   

    Community adaptations are continuing to evolve along with the proposal of new ideas currently. Many are looking at the options for converting downtowns into pedestrian malls and the wide use of large outdoor space to help with social distancing. The proposed adjustments are encouraging discussions on zoning and code changes. Along with public spaces, there is the building of consumer trust and making people feel comfortable enough to come back out and spend money which supports the economy. 

    The CRO will develop a Community Adaptation Hub to further encourage the statewide collaboration, sharing of ideas, and experimentation. 

    Colorado Resiliency Powerpoint

    Statewide Survey Preliminary Results
    NRC/Polco partnered with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) on a statewide business survey. NRC/Polco also distributed a tax entity or BID, DDA, URA Survey and a Business Support Nonprofits survey. The results from these surveys are very helpful in the way that the state and OEDIT can use them to  “craft internal solutions that are short, medium and long term.” The surveys provide a baseline understanding of business’ perception and challenges. The surveys were conducted April 9-30, 2020.   


    NRC/Polco will release full survey results sometime next week.

    • Business Survey 
      The business survey had 2,391 Respondents and showed that the majority of businesses were not prepared for the covid-19 changing economy, and many businesses can only sustain the economy shutdown for 3 to 6 months.

    • BID, DDA, URA Survey
      The tax entity survey had 29 Respondents, and the questions aligned to a survey sent out by DOLA, CML, CCI and SDA to counties, municipalities and special districts. The results of this survey were similar to the one sent out by DOLA, CML, CCI, and SDA earlier in April. The taxing entities are most concerned about property and sales tax reductions. They are most concerned about the expenditures of technology and equipment needed for remote work. 

    • Nonprofit Surveys
      The business support organizations- nonprofits survey had 86 respondents. Covid is having a major impact on the nonprofits’ event revenue and they are concerned about serious shortages in their 2020 revenue compared to their original budget projections. 16% of the respondents anticipated a 50% reduction in staff by the end of the next 6 months.


    See more info in the Statewide Survey Preliminary Powerpoint

    Resident Survey Available on Polco now: Resident Survey 

    If your community did a survey of its own, please follow Polco’s instructions for adding it to their site so your community’s data can be added to the statewide survey results.

    Statewide Survey Preliminary Powerpoint

    Question + Answers

    Is there any sort of statewide response or guidance for local entities to approach requests in adjusting rules and guidelines of liquor licenses and insurance since spaces being used by businesses are changing due to health concerns?
    At this time there aren’t specific guidelines for that topic, but lobbying and sharing the amount of concerns for that would bring attention to it. 

    We are hearing that there is a backlog at the state for approving licensed premise changes. Are others hearing that? Has there been an effort to ask for changes to premises to be made at the local level? 

    It would definitely help to have more guidance on the outdoor liquor licensing issue.  Do we need to lobby for changes in the state law?  

    Collaborating to bring more attention to the issue will be helpful. DCI is reaching out to the Colorado Restaurant Association as well, which will further help in bringing attention to this issue. 

    We would appreciate state-level, supported guidance on masks. That would assist retailers who feel they don’t have the authority to ask. 

    Do you feel rural communities were represented enough in the survey? 
    The survey results were done regionally, and there was a good amount of representation from all across the state.

  • 05/04/2020 3:45 PM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    DCI had our sixth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included a presentation from DCI partner, Amanda Peterson, Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for Colorado Lending Source. The call was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson.  

    Amanda walked us through the updates and new information regarding the CARES Act 2.0 and some alternative funding resources as presented in the below table. 

    CARES Act Overview
    1.0 - Funding was exhausted in 14 days. 
    2.0  - Additional money allocated towards the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with a focus on smaller banks lending to small businesses

    The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL) received additional funding as well. 

    Watch out for Scams & Frauds
    - SBA does not initiate contact
    - Any request of payment up front to get approval of an SBA loan or offers of a high interest bridge loan, suspect fraud


    QUESTION + ANSWER

    Is there any news on 501c6 organizations and their exclusion from the PPP and EIDL loans?
    As of now they are still not included in PPP or EIDL loans, but there are organizations advocating for 501c6s. International Downtown Association is fighting to support 501c6s to get them some help.

    Is OEDIT going to start any financial support programs?
    They are reported to be working on it now.

    Is there a possibility that the June 30th date will be extended?
    Entities are advocating for the period to be extended, especially for businesses like restaurants which will have a hard time with the June 30th date. Colorado Lending Source recommends sending a note or putting in a phone call to Colorado Lending Source who can advocate for the extension alongside other businesses behalf.

    If an organization does not get PPP in the second round, what should they do for funding?
    There are emergency relief funds available for region, county and districts, and there are also direct loans available. Communicate with your SBDC.


    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES



    Matrix of Financial Support

    Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 

    Small businesses, Self-employed, 501c3, 501C19, Tribal Businesses during covered period (Feb 15 - Jun 30, 2020)

    2.5 times employer’s average monthly payroll costs 


    Interest Rate - 1.00% 


    Loan Term - 2 Years


    No payments first 6 months

    Payroll Costs Defined (Refer to Colorado Lending Source Presentation)


    Guidelines for Sole Proprietor or independent contractor (Refer to Colorado Lending Source Presentation)

    Loan Forgiveness

    Not as much guidance on forgiveness right now since the lenders are focusing on getting the money out

    Will need to apply for forgiveness and show documents


    Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance (EIDL)

    Can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other costs 


    Direct loan from SBA


    Not to replace lost sales or profits, refinancing debt, loan payments to other federal agency, tax penalty obligations, repair physical damages, pay dividends to stockholders

    Interest rate - 3.75% 


    Up to $2 million and maturity up to 30 years

    PPP borrower can not receive EIDL for same purpose as PPP

    KIVA Loans

    Alternative Finance option for small businesses 


    Crowdfunded online from global lenders and people you know

    $1,000 - $10,000 


    0% interest, no fees


    12-36 month term


    Monthly payments, 6 month grace period


    Loans through Paypal 


    Any loan purpose, except refinancing existing debt 

    Business owner requirements: Paypal account, not in bankruptcy, certain number of people in network each lend $25, honest & responsive 




    About Colorado Lending Source
    Celebrating 30 years of lending, Colorado Lending Source cares about small business, creating long-term alliances with our lending partners and borrowers, being a resource to empower entrepreneurs, and making Colorado the best state in the nation to start and grow a business. Colorado Lending Source partners with local lenders, government agencies, and other small business resources to make access to capital more attainable. As a mission-based lender and small business-financing expert, they are committed to fostering the economic growth of diverse small businesses within our communities. Since 1990, they’ve funded over 3,800 loans helping to create nearly 29,000 jobs injecting over $4.7 billion into the economy


    Amanda Peterson,Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, Colorado Lending Source
    Amanda Peterson is Colorado Lending Source’s resident expert when it comes to keeping a pulse on Small Business Administration rules and regulations. As Head Compliance & Regulatory Affairs, she provides the necessary tools, knowledge and strategies to support Colorado Lending Source’s mission to foster the economic growth of diverse small businesses within our communities.

  • 04/27/2020 1:54 PM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    DCI had our fifth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included a presentation from DCI partners, Brad Segal, President of Progressive Urban Management Associates (P.U.M.A.) and DCI Board Member, Erin Lyng, Associate Vice President of P.U.M.A.. 

    Brad and Erin walked us through the response and recovery framework P.U.M.A. has put together for communities and organizations to adapt and The call was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson.  


    RECOVERY FRAMEWORK OVERVIEW
    P.U.M.A. is building this framework in conjunction with Downtown Colorado, Inc. with the intention that communities and organizations will customize it and adapt to their needs and metrics. This framework is also meant to be dynamic, as conditions and updates are changing quickly. Nobody knows the exact timeline of the virus and when a vaccine will be available, so this is providing ideas for planning on the possibilities and where we think things are going.


    Three Phases to the Framework
    STABILIZATION - Estimated 3-6 months (we are currently in this phase)
    RECOVERY - Estimated 3-18 months (moving into this phase slowly)
    NEW NORMAL - Estimated beyond 18 months

    The following matrix shows the various actions and organizational responses considered by phase. 


    PHASE

    DESCRIPTION

    ACTIONS

    ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSE

    Stabilization

    Crisis management, establishing organizational boundaries 

    Redefine downtown organizational value,

    Information + Support, Inventory of businesses/tenants, Locally focused promotions, Interventions + troubleshooting, mobilize support form front line workers and hardest hit populations/sectors, Decision-making tables/advocacy, anticipate permanent closures, keep it clean + safe, Prepare for phased release + activities, Understand market strengths + vulnerabilities

    Identify cash reserve, reallocate/postpone expenditures, essential operations + cushion for unknown ahead, Understand federal/state assistance programs, Solidify local partnerships, Reallocate effort/resources to economic stabilization, Relationships, DCI, Local market promotions + visibility 

    Recovery

    Phased re-opening, use of local + regional markets

    Continue information/support/inventory/intervention, Create/strengthen local volunteer platforms, Promotions to lure local + regional markets, Phase in events proportional to confidence in public health, Forge new alliances with property owners + influencers, Test new concepts in vacant storefronts, Mobilize business community to address equity issues, Explore procurement opportunities to support small businesses, Consider new options/flexibility for affordable living options, Create locally-funded recovery investment fund, Strategic planning to set new course, Identify funding as local tax base recovers

    Develop longer-term funding strategy/diversify, Expand local market promotions + visibility, Strengthen internal research/advocacy to represent all downtown interests, Create locally-based special events that instill pride and ownership, Strategic planning to align organization with revised vision/plan

    New Normal

    Beyond 18 months






    STABILIZATION
    Crisis management, establishing organizational boundaries 

    Questions and comments regarding Stage 1 Stabilization

    This pandemic has brought about the notion that it might be a good idea to have a public health expert on governing boards.

    As was mentioned before, there is an increased need to address equity and inclusion. Any thoughts on a tactical response in Stage 1?

    • The response will vary depending on geography, for example rural response will look a little different than the urban response. But there also may be a political shift that puts more emphasis on topics of healthcare and wages which this current pandemic has further showcased inequities. Housing is also a big issue which the current state of things may prompt needed changes at a quicker pace than before.


    Do you have suggestions or resources on how to best manage change for steps as we move through the framework?

    • The framework is meant to be adapted to the users’ situation, as well as have the ability to be dynamic. P.U.M.A. encourages framework users to develop their own metrics and own forms of measurement such as the use of their own budget, and understanding of their own bandwidth. 


    Are there any tactics coming out for Stage 1 responses specific to tourism-reliant communities? 

    • Think of the response more of one that is gradual. As of right now, really hunker down and be reliant on the local residents and the local downtown. Fully use and encourage downtown organizations to be information resources for the community and encourage the continuation of community-mindedness. Look to local community champions as well. 


    RECOVERY 
    Phased reopening, use of local and regional markets

    Questions and comments regarding Stage 2 Recovery

    Do you think that there will be a shift from urban/ downtowns lifestyles to a more suburban or rural due to the virus? 

    • There won’t be a significant change. Older demographics are more affected by the current state of things as a life or death situation, as younger generations are in danger but have probability of recovery. Younger demographics want the same things as everyone of connecting with others, having experiences, and enjoy putting disposable income towards music and restaurants, etc. There will most likely be a continued acceleration of people moving out of “superstar” cities because of housing affordability. There may be a possibility of a change in urban apartment design and the need for personal space as being more marketable since with this virus people are spending significantly more time at home.


    Do you expect a decline in property tax revenue?

    • There may be a near-term erosion in value, plan for a 10-15% decline but not a long term trend.  This is a very deep disruptive economic episode, but is relatively brief with a timeline of 18 months to 2 years. There will probably be a shift on IF we need a physical location for those who can work remotely.


    Locally based events that help instill community pride and ownership, how do you envision these being funded? 

    • By BIDS, property owners, and businesses, as well as local, state, federal, and/or foundation grant sources. The state and federal agencies are working on funding options related to Covid. 

    • Communities that may have funds set aside for events, are coming up with creative ways to adjust and support their local businesses and community. The creativity includes finding ways to bring communities together in new ways, and trying different things.


    Travel restrictions, as well as resource concerns, have caused us to localize. Should we pivot from regionalization to localization and how do we try to balance those strategies?

    • Rural markets are in a reinvention stage and can use this as an opportunity to look at diversification options. This is a time to relook at the assets of towns and counties. There is an opportunity to draw from Colorado resources and more people rediscovering their backyard.


    To follow up on the urban/suburban question, you talked about lifestyle.  Do you think there will be a shift in where businesses will want to locate their office? Will the need for more square footage drive commercial offices toward the fringes?


    More information about our guest speakers:

    Brad Segal, President, P.U.M.A.
    P.U.M.A.’s founder and president, Brad Segal, has extensive experience in downtown management and community development as both a practitioner and consultant. A self-proclaimed “urban therapist,” Brad is one of the nation’s leading authorities on downtown trends and issues, reinventing downtown management organizations and forming business improvement districts to finance them, and pioneering efforts to create healthy communities. Prior to establishing P.U.M.A. in 1993, he designed and managed economic development programs as senior director of the Downtown Denver Partnership. 

    Erin Lyng, Associate Vice President, P.U.M.A.
    Erin Lyng manages a variety of projects at P.U.M.A. from adaptive reuse feasibility studies to rural economic development strategies to strategic plans for downtown organizations. Erin also leads P.U.M.A.’s role as the outreach and technical assistance provider for the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F), a statewide program that funds healthy food retail in underserved communities. Her past experience in nonprofit public relations, communications strategy, advertising and digital media brings unique perspectives to project work at P.U.M.A.


    P.U.M.A. Framework Powerpoint Presentation

    Recovery & Response Framework



  • 04/10/2020 12:45 PM | Will Cundiff (Administrator)

    DCI had our fourth webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included  presentations from three DCI partners and members: Kim Woodworth, Operations Director of the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC); Kimberlee Mckee, Executive Director of the Longmont DDA and Chelsea Rosty, Director of Business Innovation for the City of Montrose.

    Kim Woodworth shared results and initial lessons  from EDCC’s “COVID-19 Municipal and County Business Response and Recovery Survey”, which municipalities from across the state responded to. Kimberlee Mckee discussed Longmont’s COVID-19 Response Plan, and the actions taken by the city and local businesses to galvanize the community during the pandemic. Chelsea Rosty outlined the three-pronged approach that the City of Montrose is utilizing to support business in their community: cooperative marketing grants, a small business emergency loan fund, and a sales tax deferral program for small businesses. which focused on the emergency funding opportunities that are available for businesses during this time of COVID-19. 


    Kim Woodworth, Economic Development Council of Colorado-Kim Woodworth facilitates the Council’s daily operations, coordinates meetings for the EDCC Board and assists in committee’s work plans, marketing and communications, and event planning and coordination for EDCC’s Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference and bi-yearly Regional Economic Development Forums. Prior to joining the EDCC, Woodworth served as operations manager for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.  Economic Development Council of Colorado Website

    Kimberlee Mckee, Longmont DDA- Kimberlee McKee has been the Executive Director of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority since 2011. Prior to taking this position, she was the President of Downtown Akron Partnership, a Special Improvement District in Akron, Ohio. Through her experience in both a DDA and SID, she has worked with a diverse group of stakeholders and municipal leaders to develop projects, programs and events.  Throughout her career she has specialized in strategic programs, marketing and event management. She has been working with the community to implement an Arts and Entertainment District in Longmont and they have been named a Colorado Creative District. Longmont DDA Website

    Chelsea Rosty, City of Montrose- In her current role as Director of Business Innovation, Chelsea manages the city’s DART (Development and Revitalization Team) where historic preservation and local business vitality are primary focuses. Through DART, Chelsea handles the administration of the city’s business and workforce housing incentives program. Additionally, Chelsea oversees communication for the city. Chelsea has 13 years’ experience in marketing and community development with an emphasis in community engagement and the outdoor industry. City of Montrose Website

    COVID-19 Municipal and County Business Response and Recovery Survey- This survey is based on 40 municipalities and counties in Colorado on their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that most businesses need flexible funding options rather than traditional loans, and there is still a lot of uncertainty on how long funding will be needed to bridge the COVID-19 induced revenue gap. The most impacted industries in Colorado, so far, are: tourism, retail, small businesses, personal care facilities and primary employers To see the full results of the survey in this link: Survey Results Presentation.

    Advance Longmont 2.0 COVID-19 Response- Longmont’s Economic Partner Group is composed of local and regional partners who have worked to coordinate resources on the COVID-19 Business Resource Hub website to help give businesses a single place to find help during the pandemic.  Longmont DDA has created slack channels and facebook groups for businesses to communicate directly with each other and share information in the rapidly changing economic landscape. Weekly group virtual meetings with retail, restaurant, breweries, and personal services have been started as well.

    Longmont Social Media Campaigns

    • Keep Downtown #Strongmont- On April 10th, Share your Longmont swag & spirit, favorite local businesses, memories, places, whatever #Strongmont means to you! For more information visit on the #Strongmont campaign visit the #Strongmont website.
    • Downtown Strong Feature-  Feature one Downtown Business each day. Other businesses support. Live online "business break" at 3 p.m.

    City of Montrose Cooperative Marketing Grants- Montrose has developed a grant program for groups of  two to three local businesses to create a joint marketing initiative. The City is offering $1,000 per approved applicant group toward marketing their business. Cooperative Marketing Grant website

    City of Montrose Small Business Emergency Loan Fund- The City of Montrose is able to use funds from their now-defunct Downtown Development Authority’s tax increment financing fund to create a  $300,000 loan program that is dedicated to providing small businesses with 0% loans and no repayment for at least 12 months. The loans of up to $5,000 per applicant are designed to assist businesses forced to close by state mandate or who have suffered significant financial loss due to COVID-19. City Montrose COVID-19 Business Resource website

    City of Montrose Sales Tax Deferral for Montrose- This program allows businesses with less than $2 million in gross annual sales to have the option to delay city sales tax remittance for a 90-day period. The city estimates this move will keep approximately $3 million in the hands of area business owners who are trying to navigate through this difficult time. Sales Tax Deferment Information website



    DCI’s Upcoming Event: Colorado Challenge Summit | April 14, 2020 | 1:30 - 4:30 PM

    The Colorado Challenge Community Summit will be online due to the COVID-19 situation. Delegates from all over Colorado who are working to turn challenges to opportunities will convene during this virtual summit. We will gather ideas and feedback to ensure DCI continues to have the resources you need! REGISTER HERE

  • 04/07/2020 10:05 AM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    DCI had our third webinar of the series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included a presentation from DCI partner Mike O’Donnell of Colorado Lending Source and Suzi Bahnsen of Boulder SBDC which focused on the emergency funding opportunities that are available for businesses during this time of COVID-19. 

    Mike and Suzi gave insight into the intricacies of the Paycheck Protection Program and the EIDL disaster loans that are available to all businesses, independent contractors, self-employed, 501c3s and 501c19s. The application for the program is simple. Review the details below. The webinar was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson. 

    Mike O’Donnell, Executive Director, Colorado Lending Source 
    If you’ve met Colorado Lending Source’s Executive Director, Mike O’Donnell you know that he is fiercely passionate about the state of small business within our communities, and that he has a “Kansas” accent. What you may not know is that his influence is why Colorado Lending Source is who they are today. Mike’s entrepreneurial and ‘gnomerific’ spirit has been in the SBA lending world since the mid 90’s. Under his leadership Colorado Lending Source has transformed from an average SBA lender to an incredibly diverse, mission-focused, economic development organization with a team of people intent on helping small businesses startup and grow up.  
    Colorado Lending Source Website

    Suzi Bahnsen, Digital Marketing, Boulder SBDC
    Suzi Bahnsen is a branding expert that helps companies strategize and leverage the most effective sales and marketing planning to capitalize on their time, money and resources. With over 20 years of experience as a sales and marketing professional, she has been a CMO, Director, Sales Executive and the owner of a Design and Marketing Agency. Her experience as a business owner, combined with her background overseeing marketing and sales teams, provides her with a unique understanding that comes through as she continues to share and grow. As a consultant and trainer for the SBDC, she lends her advice and support to businesses with a desire to thrive in a digital age.
    Boulder SBDC Website


    Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
    Application Open: Friday, April 3rd for companies and sole proprietors
                                      Friday, April 10th for self-employed
                      available until June 30th
    Amount: Your average payroll cost multiplied by 2.5 
    Interest Rate: 0.5% and a term of 2 years with no fee to the borrowers
    Timeframe it will cover: 8 weeks and then the amount is forgiven if all staff are brought back, and paid the same as they usually are, most of loan is forgiven in 6 months
    Timeframe for it to arrive: Can arrive as soon as same day 
    Requirements: Tax ID number, some banks may have additional requirements  
    Who it applies to: Companies, sole proprietors, self-employed, 501c3s, 501c19s
    Lending Source: List of Colorado Lenders

    Paycheck Protection Program Helpful Information from Colorado Lending Source

    Paycheck Protection Program Application

    Sample Paycheck Protection Program Application

    EIDL Disaster Advance Loan
    Up to $10,000
    Close Date:  No closing date currently, but probably sometime next year
    Funding Source: Government, through their website 

    EIDL Disaster Loan Application


    Gaps occurring 
    Not much relief happening regarding developers and landlords with rent payments 

    Questions
    Can you get both EIDL and PPP?Yes as long as they’re not for the same purposes and you can refinance disaster loans into PPP loans

    How do businesses that rent booth space access PPP?Similar to any other business, apply with the tax ID number and needed information

    NEXT STEPS

    1. Add your contact and links to your resources to our state-wide Covid Response Spreadsheet. COVID-19 Resource Spreadsheet -- add your contact information

    2. Business Survey: DCI and NRC/Polco are working with the State of Colorado on a Business Survey. When ready, you can create a community profile on Polco. The community is able to see and keep their own results once they have at least 10 respondents. 

    3. Business Support Survey: DCI and NRC/Polco are working to create a comprehensive list of the organizations supporting business throughout the state to collect information about what is being done and how we can support local efforts.

  • 03/30/2020 2:01 PM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

     

    DCI had our second webinar of our series covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s webinar included an educational presentation from DCI partner Michelle Kobayashi of National Research Center/Polco about effective engagement that allowed community representatives to share ideas and challenges. DCI’s calls also encourage sharing of experiences, struggles, and new ideas for addressing engagement with the community during the current social distancing. 

    Michelle Kobayashi, NRC/POLCO is in the early stages of surveying impacts on businesses and communities from COVID-19.  Economic impact is at the top of people’s mind. During the crisis, people want to hear that something is being done, which coincides with the important engagement aspect and hearing what challenges communities are facing, including consideration of the economy. The webinar was facilitated by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson. 


    NEXT STEPS

    1. Add your contact and links to your resources to our state-wide Covid Response Spreadsheet. COVID-19 Resource Spreadsheet -- add your contact information

    2. Business Survey: DCI and NRC/Polco are working with the State of Colorado on a Business Survey. When ready, you can create a community profile on Polco. The community is able to see and keep their own results once they have at least 10 respondents. 

    3. Business Support Survey: DCI and NRC/Polco are working to create a comprehensive list of the organizations supporting business throughout the state to collect information about what is being done and how we can support local efforts.


    CONSIDERING EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT 

    TOOLS + RESOURCES

    • 2 way engagement: comments, feedback from businesses, residents, etc. to be used in decision making efforts

    • Speed: get info and feedback tools out to people

    • Inform Policy Decisions: hope that sharing of struggles will get to policymakers

    • Tap into Wisdom of Crowds: sharing of experiences, creative innovations, and new ways of running businesses

    • Empower Community Stakeholders: things they can do to have some power over the pandemic

    Virtual: zoom, google hangouts

    Slack. One sheet instructions for using Slack.

    DCI COVID-19 Resource Webpage

    Colorado Main Street Resources


     

  • 03/24/2020 10:13 AM | Stephanie Owens (Administrator)

    In response to the closures resulting from social distancing measures to address impacts of the Coronavirus, DCI has started a webinar series, which will occur every Thursday from 9:00-10:00am covering various topics on the response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. DCI’s Thursday calls are part of DCI’s initiative to convene commercial districts to share resources and ideas during this time of COVID-19. With only two days notice, 94 people registered for the first call.

    DCI’s Commercial District Members, from Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Downtown Development Authorities (DDAs), Main Streets, Creative Districts, and local governments are taking the lead in supporting small business and communicating with citizens. These unprecedented closures caused by COVID-19 are encouraging the sharing of resources, streamlining communications. innovative thinking, and creative solutions to support local businesses and members of the community. DCI’s goal is to help establish a go to resource for you to access peer community responses and share ideas on a regular basis throughout this crisis. 

    On Thursday, March 19th DCI had our first webinar of the series. The first webinar was led by DCI board member, Terri Takata-Smith of Downtown Boulder and her colleague Julia Simpson, who shared the Downtown Boulder response to COVID-19 as it is evolving. DCI also shared a spreadsheet for commercial district leadership to add the links resources and contact information for each community’s response efforts so that we can collect and share the information being developed in each community. The bulk of the call was different districts sharing their ideas and responses to generate a great list of things we can do right now! 

    Read some of the ideas generated and join us this Thursday to share more ideas to grow this list! 


    COMMERCIAL DISTRICT RESPONSE TO COVID 19 
    BUSINESS COMMUNICATION TOOLS

    Develop stronger communication networks and use tools that make it easy for businesses to receive and share information! 

    • Slack
    • General Channel for all businesses to communicate
    • Business type specific channels (ex: restaurants, retail, second-story)
    • Private Facebook Groups
    • Segmented Conference Calls
    • Email lists
    • WebEX meetings 
    • Experienced Business Leaders are hosting the calls, providing help/advice for younger businesses


    COMMUNITY COMMUNICATION TOOLS

    Make sure the community knows how to support businesses and protect their safety! 

    • Hashtags (#LovetheLocal, #SupporttheSprings)
    • Selfie contest #keepingoldtownestrong (Arvada)
    • Sharing pictures of people in the community
    • Google Doc with business updates, closures, event cancellations
    • Website with all the information in one place -- https://supportthesprings.com/ 
    • Support Local Campaign
    • Business Directory update with current state of each local business
    • Website from BID – shows new ways businesses are operating  -- www.DowntownDurango.org/supportlocal


    INITIATIVES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUSINESS

    Different types of business can respond in different ways so be sure to think through how to help each kind! 

    1.     RETAIL SUPPORT 

    • Encourage Gift Card Sales
    • Gift Card Drawings for people who buy card and post to social
    • “Bonus Bucks” – add $5 for every $25 gift card purchase  (Laramie Main Street)
    • Possibility of being supplemented by local Main Street or DDA
    • Downtown gives $10 gift card for every $25 spent downtown until end of March (Grand Junction)
    • Local business matching gift card purchases to $1000, encourage other businesses to match (Leadville)
    • Free Candy Giveaway (Grand Junction)
    • Every $10 purchase, free candy from larger local business


    2.     RESTAURANT SUPPORT

    • Takeout Takeover (Olde Towne Arvada)
    • Use Arvada App, businesses can sell gift card through app
    • Creativity from Businesses Videos from bartenders on how to mix drinks
    • Delivering liquor
    • Restaurant Week adjustment – making website adjustments to go with takeout etc.
    • Employ food workers/restaurants workers/chefs to serve senior citizens
    • Have restaurants cook for transient populations temporarily housed in hotels/motels


    3.     SERVICE SUPPORT INITIATIVES

    • Workout Wednesdays
    • Zoom Yoga or other online classes offered from local gyms or studios
    • Online music lessons
    • Virtual Paint and Sip



    PARTNERSHIPS IN RESPONDING

    Community networks are there for just this reason and many groups are working to help. Make sure to convene the groups and share your initiatives so that they can support and add to the resources available. 

    • Work closely with the Chamber of Commerce. Have one stop for business resources (use chamber’s website)
    • Colorado Restaurant Association. Ideas for advocating for restaurants, and supporting them during this time include Rent/loan abatement, waive penalties, delay payments of fines, suspend sales tax on non-essential goods (paper for takeout)
    • Partner with Philanthropists Partner with housing and medical facilities to have small business provide additional servicesPartnerships with Property owners. Hold initial conversations about the possibility of rent abatement so that businesses can survive. Consider the idea that street-level tenants and active businesses keep property value up over time. 


    NEXT STEPS

    1. Sign up for the Thursday 9AM call this week - on DCI EVENTS PAGE
    2. Create a list of the resources that exist for businesses and around COVID in your community and share them on the DCI RESOURCE GUIDE SPREADSHEET 
    3. Listen to the March 19 Webinar Recording if you missed it. 
    4. Keep an eye out for our business survey that we will try to reach small businesses around the state to create a list and find out how to help them. 


    WANT MORE RESOURCES?


    WHAT IS DCI DOING TO HELP DURING THIS CRISIS? 

    ·        Weekly Commercial District + COVID calls. DCI will convene weekly calls for commercial districts to discuss responses and resources to identify the items we can do right now as the crisis is unfolding. DCI is writing up the conversation and will begin recording the webinars for your convenience.

    ·        COVID Response Resources. DCI will house a COVID response page on our website that shares resources and links to community resources for easy access. 

    ·        State-wide Business Survey. DCI is partnering with National Research Center and POLCO to distribute and analyze a state-wide survey of businesses to understand their needs and establish a response network.

    ·        Regional Council. DCI maintains a Regional Council of representatives around the state who are in place to share and collect information specific to each region. We are going to start hosting calls through this group with our members and other interested communities to ensure that we are planning for and communicating the needs of each region appropriately. 

    ·        2020 IN THE GAME. DCI will revise our Colorado Challenge Community Summit on April 14th to be a virtual event geared toward developing multi-faceted approaches for our national, state-wide, and local responses to this type of pandemic. We will look at our demographics and sales tax trends, and impacts of Coronavirus, and flesh out an action plan for housing, workforce, and small business support. 


  • 03/12/2020 2:39 PM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    Did you know that Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) has an AmeriCorps VISTA program with VISTAs placed around the state working towards build capacity for better community development? DCI currently has 8 VISTAs that make up our team. We make it a priority to develop awesome and useful professional development tools and trainings so our VISTAs can best serve their communities and their careers.


    Recently, Angelica Wedell, Director of Marketing and Communications for Polco/National Research Center gave a training on The 6 Persuasion Principles and Getting Residents to Engage. 

    Local governments these days are using multiple channels to reach out to the community. From digital to in-person opportunities, well-connected communicators are using them all: social media, apps like NextDoor, surveys online and by mail, press releases, public meetings (streamed and in-person), city-sponsored events, and more. Even with all this, many local governments still struggle to get more residents (especially from traditionally hard-to-reach demographics) to engage. One way we can improve on everything from response rates on our surveys to convincing folks to sign up for the town e-newsletter is to pay more attention to the words and language we are using to promote and to ask people to engage with us. This is where the 6 Persuasion Principles come in. These principles draw on human psychology to help us understand WHY and WHAT makes people take a desired action. This is knowledge that effective marketers rely on - and that local government communicators can benefit from too. You can draw on one or more of these persuasion principles to help you write more compellingly - in everything from a Tweet to a sign at a booth at the fair.


    The 6 Principles Include: Scarcity, Reciprocity, Authority, Consistency, Consensus, Liking. To bring it all together Angelica presented The Conversion Trinity. Why should your audience care? You need to be able to answer that question yourself and set up the call to action with relevance and showing the value.

    The VISTAs will use these principles to engage their communities with their projects addressing Transit & Mobility, Workforce Housing, Branding, Resiliency, and more!


    If you want to find out more about Polco and Angelica's work, click here. Also, if there are plenty of times where you are asked to do small surveys or single-question polls. And there are times where you'd like to be able to easily do your own web surveys for your members, your residents, and more. I'm pleased to say that the Polco civic engagement - web survey platform is now free!  It's designed specifically with municipal organizations in mind! So it gives you dashboard results - right away - that give you great analyses, it's easy to use, and the more consistent you are with it - you can even grow a following of people who keep answering your questions over time! Really cool. You can sign up for the free version here: https://polco.us/n/admin/registration

    If want more webinar goodness - check out the one I'm doing this March! I'm talking about Top 8 Priorities for Local Governments, and how resident feedback can help you best focus your efforts. You can get all the details and sign up here:  https://www.n-r-c.com/keynote-webinar/ 

    Learn more about the VISTA program, here. Contact Kylie Brown, vista@downtowncoloradoinc.org for more details!

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