Quite a bit of activity during Wednesday’s meeting of the Downtown West Bend Business Improvement District including a request for funding by the Diva Group
Ann Marie Craig, president and CEO of Century Farmhouse Soaps, addressed the board.
“Who is actually doing advocating for bringing smaller businesses into the downtown,” asked Craig.
An example was given about a vendor in Wisconsin who was invited to have a business in Cedarburg. “The exact words were ‘we will do whatever it takes to get you into our city,’” said Craig.
In a discussion with the Diva Group, business owners brainstormed about the need for more intensive marketing with strategies including television and multimedia.
Craig put in a request for $5,000 and then laid out a plan for the use of funds which included paid appearances on TMJ4’s The Morning Blend, marketing special Diva events, and other advertising including the Washington County Insider.
“We need to saturate the airwaves throughout the year,” Craig said.
BID board member Wayne Kainz, owner of Riverside Brewery, praised the Diva and its events. “We always see an uptick in our traffic,” he said.
BID board member Brian Culligan, owner of West Bend Tap + Tavern, also said the Diva Group has passion. “I see a lot of advertising and I know that drives a lot of business into the BID,” he said.
The BID seemed genuinely open to the idea. BID board president Mike Husar said they had $17,000 set aside for marketing in their budget.
The sticky wicket came about when it was determined the Dive Group is basically a club and not a registered organization. Some research is going to be done before the next BID meeting to determine how the request for funding can be fulfilled.