Mer­chants, lead­ers come to­gether

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Front Page - By Tawana Roberts troberts@news-her­ald.com @TawanaRobert­sNH on Twit­ter

Us­ing a four-point ap­proach, the Down­town Painesville Or­ga­ni­za­tion fa­cil­i­tated its monthly mer­chant meet­ing on March 13 at Mor­ley Li­brary in Painesville.

The ap­proach fo­cused on pro­mo­tions, eco­nomic vi­tal­ity, de­sign and or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The meet­ing room was full of dozens of lo­cal busi­ness own­ers and city lead­ers.

De­bra Rem­ing­ton, who is the DPO board pres­i­dent, said the over­all goal was to bring every­one to­gether.

“We are all work­ing to­ward the same goal — to get more peo­ple to shop and eat in down­town Painesville,” she said. “This is also an op­por­tu­nity to share with oth­ers who we are and what we are do­ing. We are re­ally build­ing a strong down­town.”

The DPO has been busy plan­ning up­com­ing events, work­ing on an elec­tronic news­let­ter and pre­par­ing to move its of­fices.

They will be mov­ing from Vic­to­ria Place on the Park at 1 Vic­to­ria Place to the Gage House at 47 South State St. by the end of March.

Joe Crusse and Shan­non (Crusse) Barn­hill, who are own­ers of Fair­port Rentals LLC, re­cently pur­chased the his­toric Gage House and the DPO will be their first ten­ants.

Shan­non and Joe’s ini­tial plans in­cluded of­fice spa­ces on the sec­ond floor and the main level as a rentable con­fer­ence room and event space for small busi­nesses, cor­po­rate events, bridal show­ers and other events. Their plans are com­ing to fruition.

“We re­ceived a vari­ance per­mit to host events on the first floor,” Shan­non said at the mer­chant meet­ing. “We are very ex­cited. It’s a great space.”

The cost for event rentals is $150 for four hours, she said.

In­di­vid­u­als who are rent­ing the space must bring their own food and drink. Shan­non hopes to work with Painesville busi­nesses to create a pre­ferred ven­dors list of cater­ers and florists.

There are also still two avail­able of­fice spa­ces for rent at the Gage House.

The mer­chant meet­ing gave com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers an open fo­rum to net­work and share up­com­ing events and hap­pen­ings.

In ad­di­tion to dis­cussing plans for this year’s Party in the Park, the Painesville Com­mu­nity Im­prove­ment Corp. pre­sented a new way to urge peo­ple to shop lo­cal.

Painesville Fur­ni­ture and Car­pet owner Pamela Morse in­tro­duced PCIC bucks. PCIC bucks work like a gift cer­tifi­cate and can be used at any of the 18 par­tic­i­pat­ing mer­chants, she said.

“It spends like cash,” she said. “It en­cour­ages peo­ple to stay in Painesville. It was also launched in Fair­port and was very suc­cess­ful.”

Rem­ing­ton said she was pleased with the at­ten­dance and par­tic­i­pa­tion at the meet­ing.

“This is an ex­cit­ing time for Painesville,” she said.

The next mer­chant meet­ing will be at 8 a.m. April 10 at Mor­ley Li­brary, 184 Phelps St.

TAWANA ROBERTS — THE NEWS-HER­ALD

Com­mu­nity busi­ness own­ers and lead­ers met on March 13 for the monthly Down­town Painesville Or­ga­ni­za­tion mer­chant meet­ing at Mor­ley Li­brary.

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