RLACC 2019 Business Plan: Downtown Development Division

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

As seen in the March edition of the Chamber Voice, the 2019 Business Plan was created to introduce you to the Strategic Plan’s Critical Success Factors and supporting Program of Work. Our mission is “to be the voice of business, to promote and initiate responsible economic growth, and to address community challenges in the Rogers-Lowell Area and region.” We’re celebrating our 97th year as the premier advocacy organization for business and we take our leadership role of being the Keeper of the Community Vision and Voice of Business seriously.

To accomplish our mission, we’re growing business and building community through mission-based strategic focus areas and increased collaboration with our members, partners and investors. Strategic areas 
of focus include economic development, downtown development, workforce recruitment and retention, government affairs, small business outreach, destination marketing, community education and leadership programs, and long-range community planning to improve quality of life. Below is the Business Plan for the Downtown Development Division.

Downtown Development

The Downtown Development division is the primary point-of-contact for economic development in Downtown Rogers. Its mission is focused on increasing the number of businesses, employees, and residential properties in the downtown core. The team is responsible for cultivating strong relations with existing businesses and government entities, identifying opportunities to activate underutilized properties, connecting potential partnerships and facilitating business relations to maximize resources for downtown and the surrounding community. The division provides resources and helps implement the downtown Rogers Initiative Plan to help new and existing businesses make downtown Rogers a more vibrant community to live, work and play.

Strategic Focus Areas:

  • Keep the RLACC at the forefront of Economic Development discussions through public and private meetings, news releases, social media and ribbon cutting ceremonies
  • Attract professional and skilled trade jobs to new and underutilized properties that support existing retail and restaurants
  • Establish Downtown Rogers as a dynamic music, theater and visual arts center in NWA
  • Promote the vision and implementation of the Master Plan Experience Districts each month
  • Utilize story telling to convey the value of living/working and playing in Downtown Rogers
  • Serve as the first point of contact for Downtown Economic Development

Division Goals:

  • Increase Commitments for Multi-Family/Mixed-Use Residential Development in Downtown Rogers

SMARTY Objective:
1.  Increase the number of residences in Downtown Rogers by 50 percent over the next three years.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Convene and facilitate meetings among developers, property owners, contractors and city government
-Serve as the first point of contact with prospective developers
-Create a culture of confidence that is known for ease and efficiency with regard to downtown property development
-Identify and develop working relationships with stakeholders in multi-family housing projects
-Maintain a database of property that offers the potential for multi-family developments
-Serve as a resource for information related to multi-family developments

  • Attract Supplier, Professional Services and Light Manufacturing Employers and Jobs to Downtown Rogers

SMARTY Objective:
1. Attract new companies to Downtown Rogers to increase the number of new jobs in 2019.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Target employers that could find benefit from locating offices in Downtown Rogers
-Work with City of Rogers, Rogers Water Utilities and other utility providers to upgrade infrastructure for new developments
-Identify properties that are suitable for development and work with property owners to attract tenants/buyers
-Work with the City of Rogers and existing businesses and key stakeholders to make Downtown Rogers more appealing to employers
-Develop a marketing plan to promote Economic Development
-Develop Economic development collateral to market Downtown to employers, web page, fliers, video
-Create a marketing package to share with prospective businesses
-Tell our story and highlight successful projects as case studies through news releases, videos and social media.
-Connect with existing businesses and get referrals to attract similar employers

  • Establish RLACC as the Primary Point-of-Contact

SMARTY Objective:
1. Connect with 100 percent of the commercial projects underway in Downtown Rogers to develop friends, customers and investors of the RLACC.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Develop a new business resource guide explaining the processes and steps necessary to open a business in downtown
-Convene stakeholders as needed to gain trust and encourage a unified direction
-Convert first contacts to established businesses
-Share Case Studies and testimonials

  • Develop and Promote Downtown Rogers as a Destination Location for Arts, Music and Other Experiences

SMARTY Objective:
1. Ensure Artspace and other arts & music stakeholders view Downtown Rogers as the premier NWA community to invest in art and music.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Work with Downtown Rogers Inc., Go Downtown Rogers and others to coordinate efforts to promote visual and performance artists in Downtown Rogers venues
-Increase the number days/evenings per month when people can experience art and music in Downtown Rogers
-Encourage new and existing businesses to offer an experience beyond shopping, dining and drinking
-Partner with area schools to promote arts and music opportunities on and off campus
-Feature downtown art experiences on social media and other marketing collateral
-Work with DTR Inc., Go Downtown Rogers and the RXH to share art and music through news releases and on calendars
-Gather and share statistics with businesses to encourage later business hours
-Generate a consistent buzz about arts and music in Downtown through social media, videos, and Chamber news

  • Connect All Activities to the Mission of Economic Development and the Master Plan

SMARTY Objective:
1. Highlight the RLACC and City of Rogers implementation of the Master Plan at least six times per year.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Provide public meetings
-Develop case studies
-Issue news releases
-Utilize Chamber Voice and Voice of Business Podcasts to relay economic development successes
-Produce videos and social media shares

  • Showcase Why Downtown Rogers is an Ideal Place to Conduct Business, Raise a Family and Enjoy Quality of Life Amenities and Activities

SMARTY Objective:
1. Develop six case studies with news releases and six videos or podcasts plus social media.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Connect with New businesses to learn their story, take photos and develop stories to share
-Promote new businesses through social media and ribbon cuttings
-Work with MarCom and stakeholders to tell the story to maximize impact

  • Establish RLACC as the Primary Point-of-Contact for Doing Business in Downtown Rogers

SMARTY Objective:
1. Recruit 50 percent of all new businesses as customers, members or investors in the RLACC.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Develop a new business resource guide explaining the processes and steps necessary to open a business in downtown
-Share downtown connection information
-Invite all businesses to offer an experience beyond their regular business model

  • Build Community Value Through Effective Activation of Under-Utilized Properties

SMARTY Objective:
1. Reduce the number of commercial buildings that are sitting vacant by 15 percent.

Actions (Strategies and Tactics):
-Maintain a database of property that offers the potential for commercial development
-Target and approach businesses for available properties
-Work with owner/developer to activate/lease property
-Offer development resources and referrals to property owners


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