Their main concern: how to get people to shop in Minden.
“DBA can do things that Minden Main Street can’t, due to Minden Main Street being funded through the government,” said Pattie Odom, director of Minden Main Street/Downtown Development. “DBA has more flexibility in advertising for downtown, like cooperative advertising, brochures, etc. The DBA can also help coordinate retail promotions.”
The DBA is a coordinated group of downtown business people that aims to effectively address and solve challenges that face all downtowns, like parking issues and blight.
At Tuesday’s meeting they discussed placing signs in downtown that will let patrons know where to park in the hopes more people will start shopping downtown if they have easier parking.
“Pattie and I have owned businesses here for 35 years,” said Charlie Odom, Pattie’s husband and district 8 Webster Parish police juror. “We have seen the good and the bad. What we need to do is figure out how to get people to shop in downtown Minden. When people do that, their tax dollars stay here and that benefits the entire community.”
According to Pattie Odom, things that the DBA can do to promote downtown that Minden Main Street is not able to do are holiday decorating contests, cooperative advertising, uniform Christmas lighting, sidewalk sales and after hours promotions.
The DBA wants more people who have ideas of how to improve business in the downtown area to attend meetings.
They also want more business owners to join the group.
“We can’t fix problems if we don’t know what people have issues with and we need ideas,” Odom said. “If you become a part of the DBA you will be a part of the downtown family. You’ll have access to cooperative advertising, promotions, brochures and other perks.”
For anyone interested in being part of the DBA, the dues are $25 a year for any downtown business or individual. Jo Anna Collins is the President, Tammy Eaton is the Vice President and Ed LaBruyere serves as treasurer. The next meeting has not been announced at this time, but the group plans to hold several a year.