Reauthorization for a Downtown Business Improvement District
To guide an urban downtown BID through the state-mandated legal reauthorization process, Graham conducted a year-long planning and communication process. This effort involved a full review of programs, five-year financial projections, an analysis of potential geographic expansion of the district, coordination with the BID board, legal counsel and City Council, and the execution of a stakeholder communication campaign as prescribed by the state BID ordinance. The result was the BID's reauthorization with an unprecedented zero objections from its 1,000+ ratepayers.
Business Attraction and Retention
To address a downtown district’s storefront vacancies and blighted properties, Graham planned and implemented a multi-tiered program consisting of:
The results were the successful attraction and retention of numerous restaurants, retailers, tech and creative firms to the district, and the recruitment of real estate developers for several large-scale redevelopment projects.
Improvement District Marketing
For several downtown districts, Graham has promoted and re-branded them as destinations for shopping, dining and investing. He has created strategic marketing plans, branding campaigns, websites, marketing brochures and business directories, monthly eNewsletters, promotional videos, annual reports, press releases and policy papers.
Graham developed and implemented media relations strategies: held interviews, wrote press releases, pitched stories to media contacts and distributed press coverage through email blasts, social media and websites. He has produced large-scale festivals and retail promotional event series, in support of the strategic marketing plans.
The results of these marketing campaigns were the creation of broad support from local businesses, increased brand awareness with consumers, greater foot traffic for retailers, and the development of civic pride in the communities. These campaigns also supported the parallel goal of attracting new businesses and investment.
Strategic Planning and Organizational Effectiveness
Downtown Dynamics was hired to support a BID in their effort to “get to the next level.” Graham worked with the Mayor and an Advisory Council to lead a strategic planning process. He facilitated group sessions to update the mission and vision, and conducted a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and strategic goal setting. He also reviewed the existing board governance and operations, and recommended revisions.
Revitalization Plan Implementation
Graham was hired by a Township Manager to implement an innovative revitalization plan, designed to stimulate the redevelopment of an aging suburban office park. Working with a committee of local stakeholders, Graham stimulates commercial real estate activity and promotes the business park by developing new marketing materials and communicating the municipal improvement plans to businesses, landlords, commercial real estate brokers and developers.
Community Economic Development Program Formation
The Board of Commissioners of an inner-ring suburban township hired Downtown Dynamics to review its existing economic conditions and develop new programming. Working with the Board’s Economic Development Committee and a group of volunteers, Graham analyzed the local market, assessed current conditions and presented recommendations to the BOC. Funding was authorized for new programs and implementation is proceeding.