Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group Progress Report
August 15, 2014
Our Impact by the Numbers:
$181,842 in public program money (state, city, county)
$285,547 in private raised funds
$180,918 in public funds for façade
$252,862 in PRIVATE match for façade
$126,744 in value for volunteer hours (and growing)
$1,027,913 Total Value to the Downtown DuBois Revitalization Effort
This past June marked Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group’s sixth full year of service to the community, businesses, and visitors of downtown DuBois, Pennsylvania. We are proud to announce that DDRG was one of 32 Main Street communities across the commonwealth that was recently accredited as a 2014 National Main Street Program for meeting the revitalization performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.
Our Board of Directors and staff will continue to bring programming, art and cultural events, live music, family activities, and shopping experiences. We will continue to work to encourage visitors to check out of town, and work with local hotels to send their guests into our community to recreate, eat and shop through our website, publications and events calendars. We will continue to be the lead organization in this community to manage large volunteer efforts with multiple organizations seeking community service opportunities. We will continue to seek public funding for larger scale projects such as making our downtown more pedestrian friendly and connecting it to our walkway, and providing grant funding for façade improvements throughout our downtown Main Street district.
Here are some statistics that demonstrate how Downtown DuBois Revitalization Group has impacted our community:
Façade Improvement Projects
Our role is to apply for, receive and manage state funding that supports 50% grant funds of up to $5,000 per project for buildings located within the Main Street program downtown footprint. Program criteria includes consideration for design and aesthetic with an overall mission to both improve the visual appeal of our downtown buildings while maintaining historic integrity whenever possi-ble. One aspect to keep in mind with this program is that it is geo-graphic specific and tied to a “downtown foot-print” that was approved by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. This is the only component of our programming that limits us to the audience to which we serve. Please contact DDRG for eligibility.
- Over 33 projects completed
- Total investment in excess of $175,000
- Private to public investment ratio 1.6 to 1
Our role is to maintain an updated database of available space and to proactively recruit entrepreneurs and business owners wishing to open or relocate primarily retail business. We work with property owners, businesses, the chamber of commerce, and real estate executives to find good matches for available spaces throughout our downtown.
When any new business opens in downtown DuBois, we work with the owners to offer cooperative advertising opportunities, host networking events, engage in downtown activities, and promote these businesses, often at no cost to the business. We make every effort to connect these businesses to the many resources availed to them to help them grow and succeed.
We recognize that not all entrepreneurs find success with their business, and we have at times worked with many businesses in helping them make difficult decisions about closing, selling or identifying other options in our community. Statistics shown here represent gross growth among companies we have engaged:
- 23 new businesses since 2008
- Approximately 40 new full and part time jobs created
Our role is often that of connecting volunteer groups to projects throughout the community and beyond our “downtown footprint.” We have worked with schools, churches, service clubs, scouts, families, the adjudicated and more to connect powerful volunteers to great projects in this community. Examples include painting, weeding, clean-up, litter pick-up, gardening, labor/manpower for events, food preparation and more. The Commonwealth of PA recognizes the value of volunteerism as an integral part of any successful Main Street program, and as such has assigned a labor equivalency rate to equate the value of volunteer time at the current rate of $19.61/hr.
- Over 3,600 volunteer hours over the last 6 years
- Volunteer investment in excess of $70,500 (state rate of $19.61/hour)
- Over 500 positive media mentions
Our role at DDRG is to work with the City of DuBois, the Redevelopment Authority and other community partners to tackle what might be some of the “smaller” opportunities to make impact in our community, visually and socially. One example is the informational kiosk in the Pershing lot in Downtown DuBois. DDRG was able to secure a grant to build the kiosk which hosts rotating posters on upcoming events in the downtown area. We also take on art projects, signage and way finding, as well as work to enhance experiences at bigger attractions such as Showers Field, the Beaver Meadow Walkway and DuBois City Park. Another excellent project we have been conducting for 4 years is Fresh Paint Days. DDRG originally secured a grant to help fund the costs of paint and supplies for to help properties that could benefit from a fresh coat of paint. We have continued this great project annually with our own funding. Other project examples include:
- Decorative (mural, brick paver, pocket park)
- Informational (welcome sign, kiosk)
- Spring cleanups
- Fresh paint days
Our role is to plan and facilitate adult, family and/or children’s social activities connected to down-town in some way. This is probably our most visible activity in the past 5 years, and includes many Christmas events, a wine and beer festival, art festival, out-door concerts and musicians, art les-sons and farmer’s markets. We rely solely on sponsors, volunteers, small fundraisers and trade partners to help us continue these activities.
- Block parties
- Wine walks
- Art walks
- Farmers’ Markets
- “Downtown Gives Thanks” Volunteer Luncheon
In addition to DCED Main Street Funding, DDRG has secured or assisted businesses with:
- At least 9 Competitive grants
- Grants totaling close to $30,000 used to enhance Downtown DuBois