A few months ago, we began a series of posts to serve as references for our clients and friends with regard to business resources in the Triangle. We’ve focused a couple of these posts on resources for startups in particular, and now we’ll turn back to look at more economic development entities in the Triangle.
In looking at the wealth of economic development entities in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, this week’s post focuses on downtown cooperative organizations that strive to keep the hearts and souls of their communities thriving.
These non-profit organizations work to bring resources together in each of the Triangle’s signature cities and promote the downtown area as the business hub for the each respective city.
Downtown Raleigh Alliance
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance focuses on the revitalization of downtown Raleigh by enhancing the quality of life and contributing to its economic success. It provides core services such as safety, hospitality, strategic branding and partnerships, and special events and retail merchant promotions. The Alliance is also the brainpower behind successful events like First Friday, Raleigh Winterfest and Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week.
A great example of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s work is its Shop Downtown Raleigh gift card program. The Forrest Firm recently took advantage of this program, through the purchase of these gift cards that keep locally-earned dollars invested back into community-based businesses in Raleigh’s multiple downtown business districts.
Downtown Durham Inc.
Downtown Durham, Inc. formed in 1993, has been a major impetus behind Durham’s downtown revitalization. Its mission serves to encourage private development by focusing on economic development, parking, appearance, safety, and promotion. The downtown area has become a popular place to live, eat and work in Durham.
The Forrest Firm has had the pleasure of partnering with Downtown Durham, Inc. on multiple economic development projects, including the Bull City Startup Stampede and the award-winning Smoffice project. Both of these projects, along with many more, have shown Downtown Durham, Inc.’s collaborative spirit in working with other area economic development entities like the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.
Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership promotes downtown as the spiritual center of Chapel Hill through economic development. Its focus is on rebuilding downtown as a mixed-use center of retail, service, professional, governmental, institutional, and residential uses.
In the course of its work, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership encourages investment in the downtown area, supports existing business, and represents the collective interests of the downtown community with area governing bodies. The Partnership maintains a listing of available downtown properties for commercial rent or purchase, and the organization has published a how-to guide for opening a business in Chapel Hill to assist area entrepreneurs and executives.