In 2008, the Macon Downtown Association, sponsored by the City of Macon, joined forces with DREAM Initiative—Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative. And on Wednesday, April 24, the DREAM team gave their final presentation to local business owners. The presentation focused on successful retailing suited to create a unique store and experience that will create loyal customers. Additionally, PGAV Retail Consultant, Sara Tetley, worked with three downtown businesses individually.
"It was a wonderful experience," said Debi Conklin, owner of Long Branch Embroidery, who received one of the one-on-one sessions with Tetley. "I was honored to be chosen as one of the businesses they looked at. It really helps to have someone new who is looking with fresh eyes and not used to the store."
Although Macon was a designated DREAM community in the fall of 2008, the work on the task began in 2009. Their focus was building revitalization, streetscape enhancements and improving the mix of uses within downtown.
According to Joe Decepida with the DREAM Initiative, the whole point of the project is to bring in fresh eyes from someone who specializes in retail materials and can give valuable recommendations.
"It's just some new ideas to improve store displays, store operations and to help drive sales and prices," said Decepida. "Overall, our goal is to strengthen the downtown."
In the end, DREAM presented Macon with a marketing plan, building and streetscape design guidelines, a residential demand analysis, a community telephone survey report, a focus group survey report, a visitor survey report and a retail market analysis