Members of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association met Feb. 22 and identified goals for 2013, a representative for the group announced this week.
The group's goals according to board member Larry J. Mickartz are:
#1: Unreinforced Masonry Buildings: "The GDBA will do owner outreach to see what owners are willing to do to begin the refurbishing process. Then, while continuing to work with the City of Gilroy on this issue, the GDBA will seek grants from private investors. These grants will be used to set up a revolving loan program, which will be used to refurbish one building at a time."
#2: Increase Occupancy - The GDBA will establish a process modeled on the reality tv show "Shark Tank" to identify an entrepreneur who will open a business downtown. The GDBA will showcase vacant buildings to potential entrepreneurs. The winning entrepreneur in the GDBA "Shark Tank" will be given a grant and assistance to open a new business in downtown Gilroy.
#3: Full-Time Coordinator - The GDBA will put together an action plan and cost benefit analysis for a report to the City of Gilroy on the benefits of funding a full-time position. Data indicates this position could be self sufficient in three years.
#4: Events - The GDBA will look into adding at least three new events to the existing schedule. New events for 2013 are a Robert Guerrero Day, a project with Leadership Gilroy, and a series of summer outdoor movie nights. Existing Gilroy events - Art & Wine Stroll, Fifth Street Live, the Downtown Fun Run Car Show, Shop Local Day, and the Christmas Parade - remain scheduled.
#5: Beautification - Continue progress made on making downtown look better, and expand efforts to include alleys, railroad track and outlying areas.
The Gilroy Downtown Business Association represents businesses that choose to operate in the heart of Gilroy. For more information visit www.downtowngilroy.com/local.