Alliance seeks outside firm to rebrand Elkton’s image
Consultant to evaluate economic vitality
— The Elkton Chamber & Alliance is seeking an outside firm to help them makeover the town’s image to attract more businesses and improve economic development.
During the Alliance’s Tuesday board of directors meeting, Brad Carrillo, cochair of the economic vitality committee, said com-
mittee members recently met with Tripp Muldrow, a consultant with Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a firm that examines the imaging and branding of municipalities to determine how to better create and drive economic development.
Muldrow estimated that such a study would cost about $35,000, though Carrillo emphasized that the committee is still waiting on bids from two other firms.
“I think the end goal is to have a roadmap to increase traffic, visitors and the economic vitality of downtown and the greater Elkton, just Elkton as a whole,” Carrillo said.
If the chamber decides to go with Muldrow, the firm’s study would consist of three phases. The first phases would include a market study and analysis, which looks at the area, businesses, potential growth and other aspects. The second phase involves the creation of a branding and marketing plan. In the third phase, Muldrow would draw from its findings in the first two phases to create a master
plan and would then help implement that plan, Carrillo said. Alternatively, the Alliance can implement the plan themselves instead of having the company help, he added.
Each phase will take six to eight weeks and the entire study will take a year, Carrollo said, noting that if they choose to go with the Muldrow, he’d make sure they commit to a timeframe.
The committee’s plan is in addition to the Downtown Master Plan for Elkton, which was created in April 2003 and runs through 2023, said Mary Jo Jablonski, executive director of the Alliance. The downtown plan is a guiding tool, which focuses on revitalization and increasing economic development. Unlike the downtown plan, this new plan would examine all of Elkton rather than just one area, she said.
“It’s wonderful,” said Jablonski of the possibility of hiring another consultant.
Jablonski also noted that the last marketing analysis performed was for the downtown master plan, which took place more than 10 years ago, cost about $55,000. She said the Muldrow price isn’t bad compared to that other price.
Carrillo said the committee hopes to receive the two other bids by the board’s next meeting.
“We are bidding to make sure we get both the best company, but also a reason- able deal,” Carrillo said. “We want Elkton to have the best.”
After the bidding is complete, Carrillo said he and Kathleen Kunda, the committee’s co-chair, will present their recommendation on who to hire to the Alliance board, who will then vote on it.
Elkton Chamber & Alliance members are hoping that rebranding the town’s image may help bring more businesses into the area.