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Chamber forms organization to boost Downtown Alpharetta

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ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce announced this week the creation of the Downtown Alpharetta District in partnership with the Development Authority of Alpharetta.

The initiative will focus on driving economic development through the creation, management and promotion of events and experiences that attract people while strengthening the retention and recruitment of business in Downtown Alpharetta.

Chamber President and CEO Deborah Lanham said the organization will deliver an effective marketing strategy that invites collaboration with business leaders and engagement with residents and visitors.

Plans for the Downtown Alpharetta District surfaced in April when Chamber officials approached the Alpharetta Development Authority for seed money. The Development Authority, a seven-member panel appointed by the City Council, approved $60,000 in funding for the first year.

Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin said the new entity makes sense for downtown because, unlike malls or venues like Avalon, there is not a single property owner who can coordinate marketing and events.

“Without a single entity or organization working to create and execute a cohesive marketing program, the district can be at a collective disadvantage in promoting the sales, events, and activities that are critical to maintaining a vibrant environment,” Gilvin said. “This new partnership with the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce fills that void and will enable our Downtown businesses to do collectively what they cannot do individually.”

Encompassing key locations like City Center, The Maxwell, Main Street, Wills Park, Liberty Village, and Milton Avenue, the District covers 1.72 square miles, includes 617 businesses and over 6000 employees.

“If there is one overriding objective of the Development Authority of Alpharetta, it is to attract and retain businesses in the city — to grow employment opportunities,” said Jack Nugent, Chairman of the Board, Development Authority of Alpharetta. “While we can use a number of vehicles to help achieve these goals, a vibrant downtown makes the job much easier. The Authority believes that the success of the downtown retailers and restaurants has a direct correlation to employers’ desires to be located in Alpharetta which is exactly why we have partnered with the Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce.”

Businesses that wish to take part in the Downtown Alpharetta District program will join the Alpharetta Chamber, receive a featured business listing on the District’s website, submit events to an exclusive District calendar, and receive targeted marketing support.

“Our goal as a chamber is to create a thriving business community in Alpharetta and this gives us the opportunity to do just that,” said Dr. Alex J. Paulk, chairman of the Alpharetta Chamber Board of Directors. “We’re honored that the city has chosen us to take on this project to create a more thriving Downtown District.”

The Alpharetta Chamber of Commerce formed a new governance committee, separate from its own Board of Directors, that includes public and private stakeholders providing strategic direction, insights, and will report progress and measurable outcomes. The Alpharetta Chamber will also continue its strong partnerships with the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Alpharetta Business Association and will work together to promote signature events already a part of the calendar lineup.

To help promote the Downtown Alpharetta District, the Alpharetta Chamber has hired Yonder Agency, led by Chris Thomas. Yonder Agency has also assisted the Chamber in its own rebranding and website redesign and will help build the digital marketing infrastructure to support the digital marketing strategy.

— Patrick Fox

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