Merchants Form Group to Help Bring More Downtown

As Main Street became revitalized, a group of merchants created an informal group as a way to collectively work with each other and the city to help promote the center of town.  The group, called the Lawrenceburg Merchants Association, is for businesses to be “Working together to make a better downtown” according to Becky Hawkins, co-owner of Halftrack Military Surplus.  Becky is a native of Lawrenceburg and remembers when downtown was alive with people and businesses and looks for the Merchants Association to help revitalize Lawrenceburg.

The group is an informal group that meets once a month and discusses issues of mutual interest.  They are working to make downtown, and all of Lawrenceburg, a destination for tourists and locals alike.  The Association is looking into events and activities to encourage people to drive through downtown and stop.  For example, some of the activities in the months ahead are the Relay for Life on May 13th, Ladies Day on May 14th and an Art Walk on April 16th.

The Art Walk, sponsored by The Frame Clinic and Art Alley is still in the planning stages, but should have works of art in most if not all of the local stores on that day. Ladies Day is also in the planning stages.  It will encourage women to visit the local shops, with the opportunity for gifts and prizes at the individual shops as well as for visiting all the shops participating.  And, the Relay for Life is looking to move downtown for local participants.  This is a national event and will certainly give downtown Lawrenceburg a chance to shine.

Being an informal group, the Association welcomes new members.  They are primarily focused on retail business.  However, all business owners are welcome, and anyone with ideas can attend the meetings.  The Association is also working with the Chamber of Commerce and is looking forward to working with the Tourism Board when it is set up.  Currently, they are working with Robert Myles, Lawrenceburg City Attorney, to promote their thoughts and ideas.

The group is also looking to see more businesses to open downtown.  Their concept, and it is a good one, is to work together in a spirit of cooperation, not competition.  There are over 60,000 visitors a year to the distilleries, and making our downtown more attractive will help get some of them to our restaurants, shops and places to stay.

The Merchants Association welcomes your ideas.  Their next meeting is on February 16th at 9:00 am at 105 South Main Street (Halftrack Military Supply).  For more information, please call Becky Hawkins at 502-598-8192 or email at htms12@yahoo.com.  They are looking to grow and your ideas are welcome.  Remember, the group is informal, there are no dues and there are no officers, just people committed to helping Lawrenceburg grow.

-Written by Don West

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Posted in Business & Government, Food & Drink, Local Shopping, Tourism.

One Comment

  1. I think it’s not only a superb idea for the downtown merchants to promote the downtown district but what makes it better is that they realize the synergy in complimenting each other rather than competing with each other is not only essential to success but will also serve to help each business prosper. Much like the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a modest business can float to the top along with the others if everyone works to fill the tub of success.

    Being a resident of Lawrenceburg for just a little more than five years now, I have often wondered why our town seems to be going in reverse while other small towns are growing. I can only surmise that the leadership has not been receptive to the wonderful resources that are available locally. We have two of the world’s most renowned bourbon makers in our midst and from what I understand, their offers to provide assistance through the years has been firmly rebutted.

    The article above makes a great point in that there are 60,000 visitors to our community every year and there is absolutely no reason to not take advantage of this captive audience. Obviously Four Roses and Wild Turkey are doing fine on their own but I would also guess that they would be receptive to growing Lawrenceburg tourism as it would not only bring in more visitors to their businesses but would also allow them to be a stronger contributor to the community.

    For me personally, I would love to see downtown beautification projects that promote safely walking to and from shops, restaurants, markets, gastropubs, craft breweries, arts centers, comedy clubs, museums, arts & crafts stores, et. al. I applaud the likes of Heavens to Betsy, Bluegrass Sabor. Bourbon Street on Main. Jim’s and all the other shops for taking the chance and succeeding but more of us need to support them by shopping and buying locally.

    Lastly, I would think that there are grant dollars available to help restore and refurbish our historical buildings. Again, I would emphasize a desire to work with Four Roses and Wild Turkey and I would offer financing and tax incentives to attract new business and retain quality vendors. Given its location and points of access from I-64, Bluegrass Parkway and Tyrone Pike, Lawrenceburg possesses the unique opportunity to can be the best little town in Kentucky!

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