Marlene Feist, Director of Strategic Development, Public Works & Utilities, 509.625.6505
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 9:27 a.m.
As construction on a project to reconstruct and revitalize North Monroe Street between Indiana and Kiernan nears, the City of Spokane is working on a comprehensive program to assist businesses during construction. Business coaching, marketing, and a coming façade improvement program are all part of this effort.
Most recently, a new marketing contract has been awarded to Spokane-based Rogue Heart Media to promote the businesses and remind the public that they are open during construction. The company, which happens to be located along the Monroe construction project, already has begun work on the campaign, which will include new digital and traditional advertising approaches.
Rogue Heart Media was selected in an informal request for proposals process by a committee with representatives from businesses along the corridor, the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood and City Council Member Karen Stratton. The business members on the committee are representative of the mix of businesses seen on Monroe, including a restaurant, a car parts shop, and a vintage and antique shop.
The marketing campaign builds on the business coaching that WSU’s Small Business Development Center has offered Monroe businesses since last fall. This program has included one-on-one consulting and group programs, including a recent workshop on how businesses can market themselves during construction.
And, last week, the Spokane City Council approved the allocation of $150,000 for a façade improvement grant program. Details of that program will be going to out to businesses soon.
The City also is working to improve construction signage directing customers to local businesses and maintain consistent access points into construction areas. And, it split the revitalization project into two construction projects, effectively doubling the work force on Monroe and allowing it to be completed in a single construction season. Shortening the construction impact generally will help businesses, too.
This comprehensive business focus is serving as a pilot project for the City as we continue to determine better ways to assist businesses during major construction projects.
Achieving success demands the help of our community, too. We need citizens to do their part by continuing visit their favorite businesses during construction projects.