Downtown Business Improvement District (DBID) Board Chairman Josh Johnson and fellow board member Lindsay Thomson took to the streets of downtown Columbus this week to raise awareness for an upcoming town hall.
The DBID Board has scheduled a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 18th, public town hall at the Columbus Innovation Center, 1365 24th Ave., Suite 500. The hope is to solicit more public feedback and provide a clearer understanding in a face-to-face setting of what the board would like to accomplish before going back to the Columbus City Council to seek final approval.
On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson and Thomson spent a couple of hours stopping by many downtown businesses to speak with business and property owners about the potential for a DBID and the importance of the town hall. Board members have previously said being transparent and getting the word out about DBIDB efforts is critical.
“I personally just enjoy the face-to-face contact. I feel like with social media and the internet these days, we get away from that,” Thomson said, as they walked past Frankfort Square. “So, I’m enjoying talking to these people and making eye contact, voicing our opinions and allowing them to do the same.”
The two board members did their best to visit as many stores as possible, meeting with property/business owners who expressed various opinions. Some expressed enthusiasm, while others indicated they were not in favor of the district's formal creation. In some cases, people indicated they were still undecided.
The encounters were what the board members expected, but that was the point. The two stressed they want as many people as possible to attend Tuesday’s town hall to express their views.
“Because every opinion counts,” said Thomson, of Inspired by Soul Photography. “We’re going to take it all into consideration.”
Johnson, of Columbus Bank and Trust, echoed that sentiment.
“It’s their downtown; it’s not the board’s downtown. It’s not the City’s downtown,” he said. “It’s the business owners, the entrepreneurs, the workers, the employees of those stores. What’s their vision and how can we support it? … The only way to get that done is to get everyone in one room and talk it out and make action happen.”
Those interested in picking up a town hall sign to hang in their stores can call City of Columbus Planning and Economic Development Coordinator Jean Van Iperen at (402) 562-4273.
To learn more about the Downtown Business Improvement District Board’s efforts so far, read the previously-published story here.
(ABOUT THE PHOTO: DBID Board Chairman Josh Johnson, front, and fellow board member Lindsay Thomson spent much of Wednesday afternoon visiting downtown businesses to talk about DBIDB efforts and the upcoming town hall.)