From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
New Year’s resolution: improve communication and accessibility
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Happy New Year! I know I am a week late, but this is the first chance I have had to celebrate 2018 with all of you. I hope you enjoyed Mr. Rombach’s passionate message last week, regarding the work, progress, and challenges our program, volunteers, and staff encounter. We all love what we do, even on the hardest of days. Rombach is a relatively new member to our board, and recently took on the role of board chairperson. Thus far he has shown himself to be a dedicated volunteer, committed to the growth of Grayling. I look forward to serving with him, and all our other volunteers in 2018.
Before I continue with the 2017 review, I would like to talk resolutions. Making a New Year’s resolution is a popular trend designed to set yourself up for improvement in the new year and beyond, by creating a new habit (usually a positive one). They are often health related or financially driven; sometimes they are to travel or visit family more frequently, and might include achieving a professional or educational goal. Each of these are noble targets, in the effort to be the best person you can be.
This year, I am making a New Year’s resolution for the Grayling Main Street (GMSt) office, myself, and the VISTA: We resolve to have a schedule and communication method that is more conducive to accessibility by all. In the coming year, we will strive to streamline our meeting schedules, provide more information on the online calendar, and have a calendar on the office door that clearly shows the week and where to find us. Being able to connect with our volunteers, residents, businesses, and interested parties is paramount for our growth. We want to be as accessible as possible, to understand and meet the needs of all of the stakeholder groups.
As you may recall, my last submission spoke primarily to the volunteer hours committed to GMSt. To round out this edition, I will share some investment numbers. Downtown Grayling saw more than 1 million dollars in PRIVATE investment in 2017. That is phenomenal! Downtown property and business owners contributed an incredible sum of money into building and business improvements. Investment like that serves several purposes in a small downtown like ours. First and foremost, it improves the visual appearance, and serves to attract those who were only intending to pass through. Secondly, it entices other businesses to look into similar improvements. Additionally, it serves to increase the tax value of the community and provide income for the municipality. This is clearly not an exhaustive list of the ways private investment is good for a downtown, but I feel it hits some of the biggest impacts.
In 2017, we also saw a considerable public contribution for beautification in Downtown Grayling. Through a partnership with the Grayling Promotional Association, we had approximately $2,500 in investment for planting colorful flowers. The annual planting of flowers throughout the community is a tradition we are pleased to be a part of. Additionally, we invested $570 for new banners on Michigan Avenue, showcasing our beautiful new branding resources.
As previously stated, the investment made in Downtown Grayling in 2017 was substantial. The majority of it was private investment, and for me, that speaks volumes to the confidence property and business owners have in our community’s economic sustainability. We are currently slated to see more than double that investment in 2018, with a more diverse investment pool, including private and public funding.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt 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 hair will be next.