The Downtown Beloit Association is a 2011 Winner of the Great American Main Street Awards!

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E ach year, the National Trust Main Street Center recognizesexceptional Main Street communities whose successes serve as a model for comprehensive commercial district revitalization. These award-winning communities have demonstrated proven success in using the Main Street Four Point Approach to create economic vitality, a unique sense of place, and a strong commitment to the community by all stakeholders. The National Trust for Historic Preservation presented this year’s five winners at the Main Street Awards Ceremony during the National Main Streets Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2011 Great American Main Street Awards (GAMSA) Winners were selected from a nationwide pool of applicants and were selected by a national jury based on successful as well as innovative use of the Main Street Four Point Approach. Recognized as a leader following the Main Street Four-Point Approach, embracing sound historic preservation ethics and building strategic partnerships, Downtown Beloit Association (DBA) was honored at the Main Street Awards Ceremony on May 23, 2011.

“Downtown Beloit Association has an impressive track record of taking underutilized areas envisioning their best use and leveraging partnerships to achieve exemplary results,” said Doug Loescher, director of the National Trust Main Street Center. “Beloit’s rich arts offerings, revitalized riverfront, creative adaptive use projects and award-winning farmer’s market are shining examples of DBA’s outstanding work.” See the press release here.

Click here to view the National Trust’s full website article.

Organization Committee

GOAL of this committee: Partner, communicate and represent District members to advance the District.

Members:
Chair: Peter Fronk, Turtle Creek Bookstore
Vice Chair and Economic Rest. Chair: Meghan Moss, Blackhawk Bank
Secretary/Treasurer: Jessica Domek-Hernandez, First National Bank and Trust
Design Chair: Betsy Schmeichen, The Villager

Meetings are typically held the third Thursday of the month at 8:30 am and are open to the public.  If you are involved in the downtown and would like to get on or more information about this committee, please give us a call.

The Downtown Beloit Association was awarded national accreditation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This is an annual process.

Annual fundraising, business sponsorships, investments and savings account for 67% of the revenue budget. Business Improvement District assessments account for 33% of budgeted income. The DBA is audited on an annual basis.

Executive Director continues to serve on the City Center Planning Committee, and the City of Beloit Economic Development Rapid Response Team.

Facebook presence now to over 3,464 Likes on our main page (28.3% increase) and over 5,725 Likes on our Beloit Farmers’ Market page (30% increase). Continued Constant Contact weekly email newsletters throughout the year to 1,247 people.

Continued Downtown Beloit Marketing Campaign promoting businesses with tag line “Shop & Linger, Where Customers are Friends”.

Continued website updates and additions; seeing an average of almost 7,200 page views monthly.

2014-2018 Strategic Plan benchmarks updated. 50% at or above goals.

Annual Giving campaign continued.

Distributed 800 directories to area hotels and downtown businesses.

Promotion Committee

GOAL of this committee: Market Downtown Beloit as a place to live, work and play.

Members:
Chair: Malinda Obershaw, Beloit Daily News
Melissa Bach, Upperclass Awards
Kelly Clobes, Jagger Bay Properties
Peter Fronk, Turtle Creek Bookstore
Renee’ Kellogg, BMO Harris
Stephanie Knueppel, Stateline Mental Health Services
Kim Martindale
Tasha May, Blackhawk Bank
Elaina (Panico) Szjewski, Beloit College
Mary Widder, Visit Beloit, I-90 Welcome Center

Meetings are typically held the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 9 am and are open to the public. If you are involved in the downtown and would like to get on or more information about this committee, please give us a call.

Street DanceThe Downtown Beloit Association hosts over 50 days of events throughout each year including:

Easter Eggstravaganza • ArtWalk • Farmers’ Market • Fridays in the Park • Celebrate Weekend & Street Dance • Oktoberfest • Halloween Costume Parade & Party • Grand Lighted Holiday Parade • Holidazzle

Measurable Successes:
~4th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza with over 400 children.
~Over 30 artists at 14th Annual ArtWalk at 23 locations; including 5 live music venues.
~Over 2,100 lunches were served at 27th Annual Fridays in the Park summer concert series.
~Farmers’ Market continued each Saturday, May through October.
~Celebrate Weekend & Street Dance celebrated 23 years with about 3,200 people attending; with over 70 volunteers helping to implement the event.
~3rd Annual Oktoberfest with over 1,100 people in attendance; and over 50 volunteers helping out.
~Over 600 children joined us for our 27th Annual Halloween Costume Parade & Party.
~There were an enormous amount of spectators along the route of the 24th Annual Grand Lighted Holiday Parade.
~The 13th Annual Holidazzle hosted almost 60 registered artists at 30 locations; including 5 live music venues; continued giveaway program.
Continued marketing strategy promoting “Live Music almost every night in Downtown Beloit”.  Calendar is on the DBA website and on Facebook.
Magnetic calendars of events printed and distributed.

Design Committee

GOAL of this committee:  Continuously improve and preserve the appearance and character of the downtown. 

Members:
Chair: Betsy Schmeichen, The Villager
Su Beck, The Villager
Dick Hulburt, HKB Appraisals
Rick McGrath, Resonate Web Marketing
Drew Pennington, City of Beloit
Jody Wittnebel, The Castle @ 501

Meetings are typically held the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 3:30 pm, as necessary and are open to the public.  If you are involved in the downtown and would like to get on or more information about this committee, please give us a call.

Continued management of the DBA funded façade and sign grant program.

Grants were awarded in 2016 to:
~Bushel & Peck’s
~Chic & Unique, Clothing & Furniture Boutique
~Dick’s Pattern Works
~Fresco Fajita House
~Midwest Construction
~Northwoods Premium Confections
~Porch
~Stateline Mental Health Services
~Upperclass Awards, Apoparel & Gifts

Hanging baskets and urns planted and maintained late May through October.

Ground plantings on the corners of State & Grand sponsored by First National Bank and Trust.

Sculptures utilized seasonally.

Economic Restructuring Committee

GOAL of this committee:   Strengthen and grow the District’s economic base.

Members:
Chair:  Meghan Moss, Blackhawk Bank
Dan Cancino, Blackhawk Bank
Andrew Janke, City of Beloit
Karen McKee, BMO Harris Bank
Marlene Ramirez-Paniagua, ABC Supply

Meetings are typically held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 3:30 pm and are open to the public.  If you are involved in the downtown and would like to get on or more information about this committee, please give us a call.

Continued bi-monthly Business/Property Owners Meetings.

Continued promotion of Downtown Redevelopment Plan with access from the website and used as a tool for targeted developer interest in projects.

CDBG funded Rental Assistance Program Grant.

New businesses:
~608 Grafix
~Beloit Psychotherapy
~Chic & Unique, Clothing & Furniture Boutique
~CrossFit Beloit
~Escape Quest
~Farmers Insurance – Chris Sherrard
~Fresco Fajita House
~Irontek
~Main Therapeutique
~Mastercraft Exteriors
~The Right Fit Search Firm
~Royalty Lounge
~Symplistic Imagery
~Upperclass Awards, Apparel & Gifts
~Zeta Interactive

Year in Review
42 New Jobs / 3 net gain
16 New Businesses / 3 net gain
$185,333.98 Private Investment

Bushel & Peck’s Local Market

The City of Beloit purchased 328 State Street, formerly known as the Woolworth Building, in 2003 with plans to demolish the building and build a parking lot due to increasing parking needs of a large International company located downtown. The funds were set aside in the CIP for this project and acquisition was complete in December of 2003. The parking demand subsided when the company laid off 70 workers shortly thereafter which allowed the community an opportunity to seek an alternate solution to build value for the entire district. With this opportunity to rethink the building’s imminent demolition, the Downtown Beloit Association began advocating use of the budget set aside in City funds to save this building, restore it to it’s original architectural integrity, define it’s highest reuse as an economic catalyst, and place it back on the tax rolls. The City worked with the Downtown Beloit Association to accomplish this goal and the restoration of the facade was completed in 2007.

Concurrently, the Beloit’s Downtown Farmers Market, managed by the DBA, demonstrated clear success as it doubled in size, both in number of vendors and square footage, showcasing over 70 vendors in 2006. This success illustrated the demand for local foods and offered an opportunity to pursue a venture to offer local foods in a year-round market. Jackie Gennett and Rich Horbaczewski of Grass is Greener Gardens, sold lamb, chicken, and eggs from their farm at the Beloit Farmers Market beginning in 2005 and through their experience at the market became increasingly interested in Downtown Beloit. They responded to the City’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Woolworth site with a plan for developing a full-service specialty grocery with a strong focus on local farmers and producers, and were selected as the developer of choice.

The grocery opened its doors to the public in July of 2008 under the name Bushel & Peck’s Local Market generating a great deal of media interest regionally and nationally. Gennett and Horbaczewski were interviewed on Milwaukee Public Radio’s Lake Effect for a segment called Local Green, and also on WISC-TV in Madison. Articles were published by the Capitol Region Business Journal and the Weather Channel’s online magazine.

Bushel & Peck’s Local Market features local and regionally-produced foods and products including wine and beer representing the array of fresh food and value-added products available in the region. Bushel & Peck’s currently offers cafe seating with house made meals and prepared foods for lunch or take-out for day or evening meals and may support a butcher in the future. Gennett and Horbaczewski also use the grocery as a distribution point to serve restaurants from Chicago to Madison (currently L’Etoile of Madison serves their lamb and chicken) and home subscribers. The market created 12 new jobs in the downtown.

This project was intended to be a catalyst for economic growth in the downtown. Bushel & Peck’s Local Market supports the retail mix downtown by adding another anchor retailer to expand and diversify the products offered and, therefore, will expand the customer base for our district. The grocery has reinforced and increased investor confidence in the district and has drawn interest for new complimentary businesses to open downtown.

We know that people travel from Rockford and beyond to our Farmers Market and that the local food movement is a powerful national economic trend. This grocery has the ability to draw new customers from throughout the region and we believe this will also translate into the strong potential to increase sales for our restaurants and retailers. Bushel & Peck’s supports local business beyond downtown including our area farmers. It extends access to many of the Farmers Market products throughout the year and provides an amenity for the community as the gathering place where you socialize and meet the people who grow your food. National grocery chains, even the whole foods markets cannot offer the local experience and local products. This can only be achieved with local producers and community based support. This concept fills a niche that will not cannibalize current business but will expand its opportunity. The larger grocery stores will continue to serve their core market and should not be adversely affected either, as the Farmers Market experience has proven.

Our local foods grocery developers, Jackie Gennett and Rich Horbaczewski of Grass is Greener Gardens, have great relationships and credibility with our Farmers Market vendors and a large passionate customer base. They currently run a farm, but have also been very successful working for 20 years in the corporate world in the areas of sales and market operations, product management, technical systems development and information technology with companies like Time Warner in Chicago. We have great confidence in their ability to develop an exciting, well-planned local grocery concept that the community will enjoy for many years to come.

redevPurpose of this Plan

This Plan provides a vision and an implementation framework to guide redevelopment activities to shape the future of Downtown Beloit. This plan builds on Beloit’s successful revitalization initiatives in Downtown and along the riverfront, identifying opportunities to strengthen Downtown as a thriving center of activity based on its unique assets. This Plan provides recommendations for building preservation, redevelopment, urban design, public improvements, and Plan implementation.

Click here to view the full PDF version.

2017 Board of Directors

The Downtown Beloit Association Board of Directors meets the 4th Thursday of the month at 8:30 am and meetings are open to the public. If you would like to obtain copies of meeting notices or minutes, please contact us at 608-365-0150.

Members of the board are made up of downtown property owners, downtown business owners and others involved in the downtown as uncompensated volunteers who believe in the mission of the organization.

Peter Fronk, Turtle Creek Bookstore (Chairman)

Meghan Moss, Blackhawk Bank (Vice Chair)

Jessica Domek-Hernandez, First National Bank & Trust (Secretary/Treasurer)

Sheila DeForest, Beloit City Council Representative

Dick Hulburt, HKB Appraisals

Dr. Douglas Kelley, Beloit Family Eye Care Center

Renee’ Kellogg, BMO Harris Bank

Teala Lamoreux, Northwoods Premium Confections, At Large Representative

Malinda Obershaw, Beloit Daily News

Jim Packard, Jr., Regal

Betsy Schmiechen, The Villager / My Apt. @429

Elaina (Panico) Szyjewski, Beloit College

Staff

Shauna El-Amin, Executive Director shauna@downtownbeloit.com

Crystal Cribbs, Promotions Coordinator crystal@downtownbeloit.com

Annual Report

©2013 Downtown Beloit Association.