Exciting news! The technological expansion, spearheaded by Main Street in a three-way partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the city, brings Apalachicola into a collection of a handful, and growing, number of Florida cities that are offering the service for their downtown areas. Click here to read the headline article in the Apalachicola Times!
Check out our recurring column in this week’s edition of the Apalachicola Times. This week it’s on the topic of our historic plaque program, funded by Visit Florida. The vision of this program is to educate tourists and the general public about significant buildings, structures, and objects, as well as outstanding events and people involved in local, state, national, and/or international history. It will represent a partnership between the city, Apalachicola Area Historical Society; and Main Street, which has economic development through historic preservation is at the core its mission. To be eligible, the location must be within the downtown district, defined as Battery Park to the Scipio Creek Boat Basin, and Water Street to Sixth Street. Buildings must be at least 50 years old. The plaques will show an historic photo of the property, when available. A grant from Visit Florida is providing funding which will make the first 12 plaques available for only $100. The cost of subsequent plaques will be $400, so we urge anyone interested to get your application in today. If you are interested in placing an historic plaque on your building, please contact us for more information. Remember, the first 12 applicants get a plaque for $100, a $300 discount. Click here to download an application form.
Bay Community School’s Annual Art Show & Dinner will be held tonight from 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a fun evening and delicious food donated by your favorite local restaurants. This special event at the Center for History, Culture and Art will showcase original artwork by students ages 3-5. Works including paintings on canvas, mixed media collage, mobiles, and painted terra cotta pots will be available for silent auction. The event supports a great cause, and you can take hom some amazing art! The cost is $20 at the door.
Food and beverages have been donated by The Owl Café, Antonio’s, The Beach Pit, Up the Creek, Up the stairs, WaterStreet Seafood, Tamara’s Café, Sunset Coastal Grill, Paul Gants, Piggly Wiggly, and Wes & DeAnn Birdsong.
We’ve just released our latest e-newsletter! It contains survey links for shoppers and business owners, information on our new plaque program, links to our online event listings, historical trivia, and more. Look for the section on our Friends of Downtown Card program, in which our donors receive, as a thank you, exclusive discounts at 25 downtown businesses!
Thanks for reading!
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@example.com or (850) 274-1321. Main Street’s mailing address is 1 Avenue E, Apalachicola, FL 32320