Hey, bet you thought I’d left the country! Well, not exactly, but I have been pre-occupied (but that’s another story!). Let’s see where to begin ...
Oh, yes, let’s start by talking about the Chamber of Commerce Banquet. The Downtown Business Alliance presented its first “Growth & Renewal” Award this year, and the winner was Billie Ruth Standbridge. She is the most energetic and determined individual I believe I have ever met. You ask her to do something, and Katie bar the door — you can bet the farm that she’ll get it done. We are so grateful that she’s dedicated to helping us with the revitalization efforts downtown.
Farmers/Flea Market success
I would like to clarify a rumor running rampant. The city/Marc Maxwell did not force the Downtown Business Alliance to give up the flea markets. We had no desire to host more than two a year, and Marc wanted to see at least four held during the year, so we mutually agreed that the city take them over. We still have a presence at the flea markets and help with pre-registrations, etc., but that’s it, and we are very happy with the arrangement.
Speaking of the Farmers/Flea Market held last weekend, it turned out to be a beautiful day for it, and a lot of people took advantage of it. The vendor count was less than what we’ve had in the past, but when you consider it was spring break and everything else going on that weekend, it was a very good turnout. The Farmers Market was a huge success, with several vendors selling out early! There will be more vendors this Saturday, which will mean a wider variety of goods, so don’t miss it. The Farmers Market will be on Main Street every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the first couple of weeks in October.
Return of the Round Table
The Downtown Business Alliance is very happy to announce that the Round Table Discussion is back!! It kinda got lost in the shuffle over the past few months, but we are back on track and excited. Everyone that has attended the discussions in the past has expressed how excited they are, too. The Round Table Discussions were very instrumental in helping all the different entities, organizations and businesses understand each other’s goals and thoughts for the future growth of Sulphur Springs as a whole. It also created a venue for ideas and a better understanding. One of the greatest benefits of the Round Table was the partnership and cooperation that it produced. Entities and organizations are working together instead of against each other, which wasn’t intentional — just a case of not knowing! So much has been accomplished since we’ve come together with a common goal, but there’s so much more to be done, and I’m confident that with the continuation of the Round Table Discussions we’ll be able to continue to succeed together.
DBA shifting focus for the good of all
We have shifted our focus from hosting events to concentrating on bringing businesses to the downtown. We realized that it’s great to bring people to the square, but if there are only a few businesses, chances are they won’t keep coming back. I’ve always heard that “competition breeds success,” so the more businesses of all types we have downtown, the more incentive you have to come downtown. Of course, we also hope to bring in folks from other towns and hopefully increase tourism. That, of course, puts people in our hotels, which are located where? Not on the square, so that means the entire town will benefit. So please remember that we may be focusing on bringing businesses and revitalizing a neglected downtown, but in the long run it will be best for ALL of Sulphur Springs.
More ideas to revitalize downtown
Speaking of revitalizing a neglected downtown, several of our members took a road trip recently to Waters Crossing in Allen and then to FireWheel to get some ideas for the creek behind City Hall. We came away with some great ideas, which we took to State Rep. Mark Homer, and were met with great enthusiasm. Our meeting was very successful, and once again an alliance has been formed. Oh, we know when you are dealing with the government, no matter what level, it takes time and a lot of finessing, but we are up to the task. Just know this: We have a vision for that area that will be awesome!
Welcome the Blue Mug and ‘an awesome chef’
Before I close, I would like to welcome the Blue Mug (formerly the Blue Fountain) to the downtown. Gus Trevino opened the Blue Mug just recently, and let me tell you, Gus is an awesome chef. His pastries are to die for!! You really must go by and check this place out!! And I told you about CJ’s Café that’s in the works on Main Street, well you can sample some of their culinary treats at the Farmers Market Saturday so be sure to go by there and enjoy!!
Until next time, keep asking, “What’s new downtown?”
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