From the Main Street Director’s Desk
Creating and prioritizing goals for the community, and making them happen
by Rae Gosling | Grayling Main Street Executive Director
Throughout 2016 Grayling Main Street (GMSt) cultivated a collaborative spirit with the Grayling community. We were active in promoting partnerships with other local organizations, city staff and departments, as well as participating on steering committees for local economic development initiatives, most notably Project Rising Tide (PRT).
As you may recall from a few weeks ago, I wrote about GMSt assisting in the coordination and execution of two public engagement sessions with the PRT steering committee. The goal of the input sessions was to get a read from the community members about what they saw in Grayling, and what they wanted to see in Grayling. Armed with that information the PRT steering committee set to grouping the issues, prioritizing the goals based on available resources and community impact value, and looking for existing stakeholders that could be approached to help actualize the change we all want to see.
During that consolidation phase GMSt was tapped to head up several projects. We gladly took on opportunities to leverage our resources to better the community as a whole. In November of 2016 the PRT steering committee presented the projects to the community at the Rialto Theater. The projects included improving housing conditions, increasing transportation options, marketing development sites, updating the appearance of downtown, and widening the food options in our community, among others. The GMSt projects were narrowed down into three areas of focus.
One, create and promote a concerted image for the Grayling community. This was an easy win for GMSt. The branding services awarded by Michigan Main Street from Arnett, Muldrow, and Associates, were already well under way for GMSt and Downtown Grayling. In addition, the PRT technical assistance services include branding and marketing services for the community as a whole, from the same firm. This project drew new volunteers to the GMSt program. Their tasks include promoting the new GMSt and Downtown Grayling logos and brand, as well as promoting the new city and community destination logos and brand, when they get approved… in the near future.
Two, update the appearance of downtown businesses. This project also attracted new volunteers, and is nicely paired with an existing committee within the GMSt program, the Design Committee. This group will be charged with coordinating training and resources regarding merchandising, as well as helping businesses evaluate opportunities for updating their facades.
Third, consolidating information regarding accessing capital for new businesses in Downtown Grayling and the surrounding area. This project aligns nicely with the Economic Vitality Committee and will draw on the many financial resources in our community. The goal of this project is to create a one stop review of available capital in our community, making the move to Grayling easier and more attractive to entrepreneurs and developers alike.
If you are interested in taking part in any of these projects, or want to know more about the projects PRT needs volunteers for, please check out DowntownGrayling.com. There, you will find the presentation from the Rialto, as well as the current list of active and upcoming community projects related to PRT.
Want to know what changed with the Christmas Walk and learn about the Main Street Refresh? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Director’s Desk. You can also check out our website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find us on Facebook, or email your questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Grayling Main Street Executive Director. She has been with the program since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her eye shadow and hair will be next.