VCDC to assist Main Street businesses

5/28/09 (Thu)

Just weeks into the Main Street project, the impact of construction to the businesses along the avenue has been dramatic.
As reported in last week’s Voice, business owners have reported significant – sometimes devastating – drops in patronage.
The problem was exasperated this past week as underground work began and contractors blocked off the rear access of some businesses with traffic cones, citing the need to protect temporary water access lines. The move left places like the Quilted Bean and the Pioneer Bar and Steakhouse with little to no back door parking. In addition, already limited parking areas filled with contractors’ vehicles, dirt piles and machinery.
McHenry County JDA Director Maria Effertz Hanson is extremely upset about the current situation.
“I’m steamed, but I don’t have the authority to talk to the contractors,” she said. “But I am going to find someone who does.”
In the meantime, Hanson said the VCDC (Velva Community Development Corporation) has received MAGIC Fund Marketing Match dollars to proceed with promoting the communities and raising awareness of the opportunities to live, work and play in rural North Dakota.
The VCDC received $4000 as a match fund to promote Main Street Businesses and the community during the summer and into 2010. 
“These dollars will be used to attract visitors and shoppers to our Main Street both during the Main Street construction time and into the future,” says Randy Hauck, VCDC Chair.  “We have to not only help our businesses during this trying summer, but also look toward the future and keep our community growing.”
Some of the funds will be used for advertising, media, and public relations along with signage. The money will also help fund Downtown Dollars, a new promotion to bring shoppers back to Main Street during the construction project.
The program provides incentives to shop downtown by allowing consumers to purchase a $10 Downtown Dollar certificate for just $5, effectively doubling their money.