I’m so happy you’re here on our new website. As a non-profit organization dedicated to downtown economic development and historic preservation, our goal for this site is to provide the most comprehensive source of information on our downtown, for both visitors and locals. It features free business listings, sites to see, things to do, interactive maps, an events calendar, and more. I hope you’ll check it out and contact us with any feedback. Our goal is to make it the best it can be for promoting our beautiful and historic downtown. I’d like to offer special thanks to Tana and Sterling Kendrick of 2K Web Group for their talents in website design and development.
Main Street programs are focused on historic downtowns. Our downtown district is defined as the City Marina (Ten Foot Hole) to the Scipio Creek Boat Basin (the Mill Pond, and from Water Street to 6th Street.
Our new website has introduced several features that we’re very excited about. One is an interactive map that shows each business’ pinpoint location, or all the locations for a particular category (for example, all the restaurants downtown).
Business listings include a photo of the front of each business, and rotate so that everyone gets a turn at the top of the list. If your business operates in our downtown district, and you’d like to add or edit your complimentary business listing, please contact me. We’re continuing to load content.
The events calendar has a link that allows businesses and non-profits to submit their event information online. This allows for faster uploading of all sorts of events, including live music schedules, classes and workshops.
We will also soon be unveiling a new web cam placed on top of City Hall, overlooking Riverfront Park. The web cam project is a partnership between the City of Apalachicola, the Franklin County TDC, and Main Street. It is also funded in part by a technical assistance grant from the State. We’re grateful for these partnerships and support that make this project possible, and to Sterling Kendrick of 2K Web Group and David Meyer of the City for their technical expertise. When it’s installed, anyone can visit our site to watch live, streaming video of our beautiful waterfront. We are also installing a weather station that will display live weather statistics. We think these two additions will be very attractive to potential visitors.
Visit our Friends section to learn about the new Friends of Downtown card, a donor appreciation program. Any supporter of Main Street who gives at the $35 level and up receives, as a thank you, a Friends of Downtown card that provides access to exclusive discounts at 25 downtown businesses. These include 13 Mile Seafood Market, All That Jazz, Apalach Blueway Transit, Apalach Outfitters, Apalach Waters, Apalachicola Community Bicycle, Artemis Boutique, Basecamp Apalach, Blinging Up Daisies, Coast, Deep Southern, Gormley’s at the Gibson, Grady Market, Harmony Bath & Body, Island Girl Gifts, Old Stuff Shop, On the Waterfront Gallery and WOW Café, Oystercatcher, Riverfront Therapy, The Shop, Sister Sue’s Antiques & Gifts, Tamara’s Café, The Tin Shed, and Water Street Hotel & Marina. Discounts vary by location, so check out the Friends web page for details.
This idea has been used successfully by organizations like National Public Radio. It increases donations, and also encourages donors to support local businesses. Since the Main Street program is dedicated to strengthening our downtown community, we think this will be an effective tool for promoting local businesses here in Apalachicola. Be on the lookout for the “Friends” decal on the front door of your favorite local shops and restaurants.
The Friends of Downtown Card program is packed full of benefits for our merchants as well as our donors: Merchants can offer incentives specific to their business such as offers designed to increase traffic during slow time periods, or on specific merchandise. The card encourages repeat business because the card is designed to be used repeatedly during the year. And in addition to being highlighted on our website, we will use our e-newsletter and social media to promote the program and its participating merchants. Donations can be made online or mailed in to our office. If your business would like to participate, please get in touch. There’s no cost to participate, and we’d love to talk to you. We’re thrilled with the initial positive response to this program. It’s part of a multi-faceted plan to create financial sustainability for our non-profit organization, while promoting downtown businesses.
Augusta West is executive director of Apalachicola Main Street, a non-profit organization dedicated to downtown economic development and historic preservation. She can be reached at [email protected] or (850) 274-1321. Main Street’s mailing address is 1 Avenue E, Apalachicola, FL 32320