The Yuba City Downtown Business Association has plans to bolster its annual events and drive even more traffic to businesses along Plumas Street after a successful 2018/19.

City officials will receive an update at tonight’s meeting on how the association fared last year and what is planned for the year ahead.

“Last year was a great year, and we increased the profitability for our events by 50 percent,” said Sandee Drown, president of the business association. “With that profitability, we were able to spend some money on décor for the downtown area. We also have a new dynamic board with a mix of old and new members, which provides better diversity and is more eclectic.”

The association, comprised of businesses along Plumas Street as well as associate members who might not be located along the corridor but want to support the downtown area, raise funds every year through assessments, or annual dues, and through special events like the Christmas Stroll and Summer Stroll. The Business Improvement District’s assessment formula is based on factors such as a business’ type, size and location, and the funds raised help the association pay for improvements along Plumas Street and different events held throughout the year.

“The (Business Improvement District) is crucial to the economic success of the downtown merchants especially as our economy continues to improve,” said Terrel Locke, assistant to the city manager, in a staff report. “The assessment district’s funds will market the downtown whereas some individual merchants would not be able to market on their own. The DBA is currently managing the marketing efforts for downtown and will continue to do so for the district and the future of the downtown.”

Last year, the district’s assessment generated nearly $30,000 in dues from association members (an average of $485 per member), and 21 associate members generated another nearly $5,000 for the cause – not to mention another $49,000 from its two biggest events – the Summer Stroll and Christmas Stroll. The association anticipates that it will collect a similar amount in assessments in the current fiscal year.

As part of the association, the group submits an annual report that highlights accomplishments from the past year and identifies activities and improvements to be funded for the coming year.

According to the most recent report, the big events over the last year were a Bunny Hop Scavenger Hunt in April; a “First Thursday” event from February through October; starting a Farmers Market in May that is held every week on Teegarden Avenue; Trick or Treat Plumas Street in October; a holiday open house and Shop Small Business Saturday in November; and the two big annual events in December and over the summer. The group also added new members and updated its bylaws, policies and procedures, which hadn’t been done since 2010. 

“The one thing that’s unique about our downtown area is that we enjoy and value the fact that all our businesses work and talk to each other, which allows a level of synergy and open dialogue to help us learn from each other,” Drown said.

Upcoming plans

Over the weekend, association members hung wreaths and garland along Plumas Street ahead of the holidays. The association also plans to work with the city on potentially implementing historical directional signs that direct people to downtown, as well as on a tree lighting project that would see the roadway’s 106 trees lit up year-round to help with visibility and to add another layer of security for shoppers.

“Other than that, we just plan on continuing to grow our events, adding new events and enhancing our marketing for our members,” she said. “We are also looking to partner with other events that maybe need a location and feel that the downtown area is a good fit.”

Association members will present the annual report and their plans for the year ahead to City Council members at tonight’s meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Council Chambers at City Hall – 1201 Civic Center Blvd., Yuba City. If council members move forward with a resolution declaring the city’s intent to levy an assessment again in 2020 to association members, a public hearing will be set up for the next council meeting to approve it.

For more information about the association, go to http://www.yubacitydowntown.com/.

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