The City of Beckley and the Downtown Beckley Business Association will be working with consultants to accomplish a Downtown Assessment over the next month. The Downtown Assessment and Strategies Team consists of Monica Miller of M. Miller Development Services and Aaron Arnett of Arnett Muldrow & Associates. The two have over 40 years of combined experience in market driven strategies for community economic development. Miller says, “We look forward to working with Beckley officials and community stakeholders to develop a vision and strategies for economic development in downtown by capitalizing on unique assets and market opportunities.”
An online survey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/downtownbeckley) was created by the team to help gather input from the greater community to assist in developing a vision. Community members are encouraged to take the survey between October 25 and November 6. The survey includes questions such as listing places that you would recommend downtown, suggesting businesses that are needed in the district, rating the environment and identifying what is needed to create a better business environment and overall quality of life.
The team will review survey results, existing plans, studies, demographics and key data pertaining to downtown Beckley. The team will be in town November 13-15 conducting focus groups. Some of the focus groups will include downtown businesses, property owners, WVU Tech officials, students, economic development agencies, bankers, funders, tourism industry representatives, non-profits, developers, realtors, city and other governmental officials. The schedule will be published and posted on the city’s website (www.beckley.org) prior to the visit. After meeting with community stakeholders, and reviewing surveys and market data, the team will recommend economic development strategies to enhance the downtown area.
“We are excited to get this assessment started and we encourage the stakeholders to be involved with the process. We look forward to developing a vision for downtown and strategies for economic growth,” says Mayor Rappold.
The online survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/downtownbeckley – was created by the team to help gather input from the greater community to assist in developing a vision. Community members are encouraged to take the survey by November 6. The team will review survey results, existing plans, studies, demographics and key data pertaining to Beckley, and will be in town November 13-15 conducting focus groups. After meeting with community stakeholders, and reviewing surveys and market data, the team will recommend a vision and economic development strategies to enhance the area.
November 13-15 – Tentative Focus group schedule (most will be held at City Hall):
Tuesday, Nov. 13: 4:00 – 4:55 pm – Downtown business owners
5:00 – 5:45 pm – City Council; 6:30 – Regular City Council meeting
Wednesday, Nov. 14: 9:00 – 9:55 am – Economic Development stakeholders
10:00 – 10:55 am – Bankers, financing entities, funders
11:00 – 11:55 am – Tourism industry representatives & Beckley Events committee
1:00 – 1:55 pm – Non-profits & historic preservation groups & churches
2:00 – 2:55 pm – Regular Bike/Walk committee meeting & Education leaders
3:00 – 3:45 pm – Property Developers, Realtors
4:00 – 4:55 pm – WVU Tech students (location TBD)
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Downtown Property Owners
Thursday, Nov. 15: 9:00 – 9:50 am – City Department leaders
10:00 – 10:55 am – WVU Tech officials
11:00 am – 11:45 am – Other government (county, state, federal) & interested citizens not in other focus groups
3:00 – 5:00 pm – Team meets with steering committee to discuss observations, recommendations, vision and
strategies (location TBD)
If interested in attending a focus group, it would be helpful to leave a message with name and focus group at 304-
256-1776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.