Spring Available Property Tour scheduled

SAVE-THE-DATE!
Sunday, April 24, 2016
10am-2pm

Join us for our 2nd tour of downtown Martinez available space for lease or for sale. If you are interested in opening a new business or relocating an existing business, you won't want to miss this opportunity to look at the property and to meet with existing business owners who will be on-hand to give you a guided tour and answer questions about doing business here.

Click here to register!

director@mainstreetmartinez.org
925.228.3577

We look forward to meeting you!

Downtown Martinez Merchant's Forum is Tonight!

Network with your fellow business community while you enjoy beverages and hors d'oeuvres from Creek Monkey Tap House.

Special Guest!
Nicole Olazabal

Assistant Director of Outreach and Marketing

Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership @ JFK University

Monday, March 7
6:30pm
Creek Monkey Tap House
3rd Floor
611 Escobar St. 


Looking forward to connecting!

Main Street Martinez does Oceanside!

The Economic Restructuring Committee is back after a holiday break! Last week Leanne, Terry, and I were fortunate enough to attend the California Main Street Alliance Conference in Oceanside, CA. It was an inspiring week and we came back with a huge “to do” list! Some projects big and some projects small - Our priority will continue to be to attracting new businesses. We are currently working to develop new business incentives that the City of Martinez will hopefully adopt. Smaller projects include a new Downtown Martinez app (coming soon!), hosting another available property tour on April 24th, expanding our Sunday Farmer’s Market and Friday’s on the Main, and hosting a variety of educational workshops called “Business Boosters” designed to continue to strengthen our existing businesses. 

Here's an example of how our new app will look:

Oceanside is a beautiful town and great example of a successful Main Street! They host a market every Thursday night with over 190 vendors!

And of course we had a little fun while we were there!


Oh Happy Day!

Main Street Martinez is proud to announce the first annual seasonal Ice Rink in Downtown Martinez. This 45 day event offers a unique opportunity to promote your business. Centrally located in downtown Martinez within a public parking lot. Easy walking distance to shopping, dining and entertainment.

Skating will kick off the Holiday Season mid November 2015 through mid January 2016 Planned hours of operation are Monday through Thursday; 4:00pm-10:00pm, Friday’s; 3:00pm-11:00pm, Saturday’s: 10am-11pm Sunday’s and Holiday’s; 10:00am-9:00pm.  Group and private skating lessons, private parties, field trips, birthday parties and corporate parties will be on Monday’s & Tuesday’s

Thousands of people of all ages, from Martinez and surrounding areas will enjoy this unique opportunity again and again throughout the season.

Sept 14, 2015 Economic Restructuring Team Meeting

Downtown Martinez Vagrancy Concerns

Leanne and I were able to meet with the new MPD Chief, Manjit Sappal to discuss the vagrancy and parking concerns Downtown. Sappal began with MPD on August 31 and has already began to aggressively tackling some of our downtown problems. I was happy to hear some fresh ideas. Here are a few of them:

1. As much foot patrol as possible. Having an officer our of the patrol car actually walking the      streets.

2.  Assigning a detective to handle the cases for repeatedly arrested people. It is usually the same few people causing the problems downtown and paperwork can sometimes fall through the cracks when it is at the DA. Assigning someone to follow up on cases could lead to mandatory recovery programs or a longer jail sentence for some of our regularly problematic vagrants.

3. Educating downtown merchants and employees so they know their rights as business owners and how to handle uncomfortable encounters correctly:  MSM and Chief Sappal will work together to create a document or pamphlet that explains what is or isn’t illegal behavior and what to do when there is a problem. 

4. Encourage merchants to stop hiring vagrants: Many store owners will hire some of our problematic people to help them with chores at their business such as sweeping, window cleaning etc. This is a kind gesture but it can sometime lead to trouble. We understand that some of out merchants may have developed a friendly relationship with these people so we want to provide them with other ways to help like putting them in contact with the Contra Costa Homeless Outreach program where they can get help and hopefully get back on their feet again. 

 

  • October Downtown Martinez Small Business Owner’s Networking Forum

The date for our next networking forum has been set for October 14th @ 6:30pm. This is an opportunity for the downtown merchants to learn about the progress of our current projects and the details of the upcoming downtown events. On the agenda for this forum:

  1. Upcoming events: What. When. Where. And how to use them to drive sales in your business.
  2. Holiday marketing and merchandizing: Drawing shoppers to your small business with effective marketing and boosting sales with creative retail displays and unique gift ideas. 
  3. Introduction to MPD Chief Manjit Sappal: Our new chief of police will speak about his plan for Downtown Martinez and how we can work together to create a safe and inviting Downtown. 

 

  • New Business Incentive Programs and Business Licensing Fees Comparison

1. Downtown Business incentive programs: After taking a look at the program offered in Chowchilla, CA we are inspired to work with the city to possibly create some incentive programs of our own. Check out the link to the Chowchilla project here: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/community/chowchilla/article31359497.html

  • Our next meeting will be 100% dedicated to this.

2. Fees comparison: We took a look at the Martinez business licensing fees compared to the fees in the surrounding areas and found that Martinez was slightly more expensive than many of the nearby cities. Perhaps we could include more benefits with the current fee or the it could be lowered. We will work with the city to see if we can offer a more competitive fee.

Our next meeting will be on Monday October 12th. To share any ideas or projects you'd like to see our group take on please email me at candice@ mainstreetmartinez.org.

-Candice Gliatto, MSM Economic Restructuring Committee Chair

 

July 27th, 2015 Economic Restructuring Team Meeting

It was a great meeting. We had several new faces that chose to join our efforts after the "Urban Century" screening last week! Here’s a quick run down:

-We will continue our effort to strengthen our existing businesses by providing small business education (marketing, merchandising, customer service, finance, etc).

-Continue to provide business networking opportunities. In March we hosted our first Downtown Martinez Business Owners Networking Forum. Read more about it here http://www.martinezmeansbusiness.com/blog/2015/3/11/first-networking-forum-a-success . Our next forum will be held in September.

-Continue to strengthen our recruitment and retention website, martinezmeansbusiness.com and create social media presence for business recruitment specifically.

-Work towards scheduling regular meetings with the police department and city staff/council to help control downtown vagrancy issue.

-Compare licensing fee’s to surrounding cities and brainstorm possible incentive programs for city to consider.

-Study city zoning restrictions and how it pertains to specific business types that may want to open downtown. Comprise list of business types that should/shouldn’t be in the Downtown based of community feedback (Downtown Martinez Facebook page). Strategize ways to attract desired businesses.

-Continue to organize successful events (new and existing) to bring a crowd downtown and encourage merchants to be open for business during these opportune times.

If you are interested joining our group, please email candice@citrus-salon.com. 

 

-Candice Gliatto, Economic Restructuring Committee Chair

 

"Urban Century" Screening at Creek Monkey Tap House

 

"After decades of decline due to suburban sprawl, downtown communities all across the country are once again becoming vibrant, desirable destinations to live, work, and play, Examining this current rebirth of Main Street through the lens of several towns, including Flint, MI and Joplin, MO, Urban Century takes a refreshingly hopeful look at how these places from our past are becoming the key to our country's future. This isn't a story about saving Main Street, but about how Main Street just might save us. Whether it's economic downturn, climate change, or a glowingly unhealthy population, could the solutions to our biggest problems be as simple as returning to our urban roots?"

The documentary was shown to our members at our annual meeting on Tuesday July 21st and to the public on Wednesday the 22nd. Both nights had decent attendance and the film left both groups feeling very inspired. We even recruited some new volunteers and committee members!

We will be showing the film again at the Campbell Theater on September 29th and 30th. Reserve your ticket by clicking the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-century-americas-return-to-main-street-tickets-17974773030

 

-Candice Gliatto, Economic Restructuring Committee Chair

Available Property Tour a Success

This past weekend we held our first open house for our downtown available space. We showcased the properties listed below and among our guests were potential breweries, a wine bar, an independent grocer, restaurant, commercial kitchen/incubator kitchen, natural childbirth/ nursing support/mother and baby retail store. We were thrilled to meet these potential downtown businesses as they would all be a great part of the Downtown Martinez experience.

 721 Castro St. 
725 Castro St. 
733 Castro St. 
737 Castro St. 
626 Main St. (former Bank of America building) 
938 Main St. (former McDonald’s building) 
701 Escobar St. (former Bow Rack building) 
535 Main St. (several office suites) 
610 Court St. (3 office suites)

Beautiful, newly renovated retail spaces on Castro Street

Beautiful, newly renovated retail spaces on Castro Street

Inside 626 Main Street, the former Bank of America building

Inside 626 Main Street, the former Bank of America building

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

Social Media Marketing Workshop

Although our group was small we had a great class. We covered all the basics of social media marketing - The importance of marking, what networking sites are right for your business, creating an attractive profile, building your audience, being likable, posting content, creating an event, organizing your posts and managing your time, paid advertising and understanding analytics.  We will be holding the class again along with new, shorter classes that will be held on weekday evenings. All education will be listed here on our education page. Thanks to all who joined us and to Creek Monkey Tap House for providing a great space for us to work.

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

First Networking Forum a Success

Last Thursday we hosted our first Downtown Martinez Small Business Networking Forum at Creek Monkey Tap House.

We went over all the coming events and how to market towards the specific crowd each event brings. For example, The Bay Area Craft Beer Festival -  On the day of the event running promotions or highlighting the parts of your business that would attract the craft beer enthusiast would be wise, but how do you know what this crowd tends to like? At the forums this information is gathered and presented so our Downtown Martinez businesses can plan ahead and fully take advantage of the large crowd their exposed to at these events.

James Patton of GLT Sign Solutions gave a very informative presentation on effective branding and it's importance for small businesses. He will also be leading us through the rebranding of Downtown Martinez which we talked about briefly at the forum and will continue to work on with our community.

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

The last item on our agenda was a discussion about evening and weekend hours. Recent studies have shown that 70% or retail sales transactions happen after 6pm. We provided our merchants with tips on how to ease into  taking on these extra hours and make them successful. This topic turned into a great group conversation where we all came to the conclusion that we have to expand our hours as a group, offering a wide variety of services and products to attract a larger crowd. This topic will stay on our agenda for future forums so we can track the growth of evening sales.

In conclusion, the forum was a success. I believe the business owners left feeling energized, inspired and ready to try something new. Our next Networking Forum will be held in July.

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Photo by Nicole DiGiorgio, Sweetness and Light Photography

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

Still working away...

It's been some time since I've blogged about our progress but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy working on all of our current projects and upcoming events. On February 18th we presented at the city council meeting and all council members we supportive and enthusiastic about all of our projects!

Our first Networking Forum is right around the corner.  It will be held at Creek Monkey Tap House on March 5th from 6:30-8:00pm. Our first speaker will be our own, James Patton of GLT Signs. He will be teaching us the importance of branding your business. In addition to Jame's presentation our agenda includes general Downtown updates, upcoming events and how to use them to promote your business and how consistent and convenient store hours effect your bottom line.

In addition, I'm happy to announce that we have 3 new businesses Downtown! Main Street Deli (open),  Martinez Athletic Club (opening April 1st) and States Coffee. (coming soon)

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

ER Committee Reports to MSM Board

Last night I shared the progress of our current projects with the Main Street Martinez Board of Directors. We spent most of our time going through martinezmeansbusiness.com website. All the board members were excited and supportive of all the projects!  

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

Business Visits - Day 1

This past Tuesday, Ben, Tony, Terry (Main Street Martinez President) and I set out to do our first round of business visits as the new ER committee. Our plan is to visit each Downtown business every other month and touch base with them on how their business is doing, share news about upcoming events and education and offer help in anyway we can. 

The main item on our visit agenda was to introduce ourselves and share some of the projects we've been working on. These include the available property tour, the quarterly business owner's forums and Mainstreetmartinez.com. We provided our merchants with informative articles about branding a business and effective retail display and introduced them to our Pinterest, which is filled with great ideas and articles for small businesses. 

We had a great visit at Attic Child where we spent about 30 minutes talking with owner, Fred. Fred has been on Main Street over 20 years and has found it to be a great place to conduct business. We discussed his praises and concerns and Fred gave us some great suggestions. Fred and I will meet later to work on his social media advertising. We chatted with Arash of Barrel Aged and Barrelista.  Being a member of the ER committee he was up to date on our current projects but still spent some time talking with us about his experience in operating his two businesses downtown. He is looking forward to the business owners forum.

Unfortunately many of the businesses were either too tied up to talk with us or the owner wasn't in and our time was running out. We had been on the streets for two and a half hours and we had only covered half of Main Street. We came to the conclusion that we needed a better strategy. Next time out we will break up into two teams to cover more ground and have a printed flyer or newsletter to leave with merchants in the case that they are unable to talk with us. I'm working on the newsletter this weekend and we'll hit the streets again early next week. I'll let you know how it goes!

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

 

Current Projects

Now that you're familiar with our committee members we'd like to share our current projects. Here's what "in the kitchen" at Main Street Martinez.

  1. Quarterly Business Owner Forums - The first forum will be held at Creek Monkey Tap House on March 5th at 6:30pm. Our goal is to present business owners with information about upcoming events and city happenings, provide education and inspiration for marketing,  branding, budgeting- basically share any information we can that would benefit their business. This would also serve as a great opportunity for merchants to network. 
  2. Available Property Tour - On March 20th and 21st from 10am-2pm we will be hosting our first available property tour. We are inviting prospective business owners to come check out our available space and meet the property owners in person. We'll be advertising the tour throughout various commercial realtors, newspaper, loop net, craigslist and all forms of social media.
  3. Martinezmeansbusiness.com - Stay tuned as this site continues to grow!
  4. Downtown Martinez Brochure - An informative packet highlighting the benefits go doing business in Downtown Martinez.
  5. Downtown Business Outreach - In an effort to better connect with our business community we will be carrying out regular business visits. Our goal is to share information from this site, evaluate needs, update merchants on upcoming events and do anything in our power to provide merchants with the tools they need to conduct a successful business.

We are looking forward to connecting with all of our existing and prospective downtown merchants!

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

New Economic Restructuring Committee Members

The Main Street Martinez Economic Restructuring Committee has taken on new leadership and committee members. We'd like to take a minute to welcome our new committee members and thank them for their dedication to business development and economic growth in Downtown Martinez!

  • Candice Gliatto, Committee Chair, Owner of Citrus Salon
  • Leanne Peterson, Director of Main Street Martinez
  • James Blair, Owner of Creek Monkey Tap House
  • Arash Pakzad, Owner of Barrel Aged Bar and Restaurant and Barrelsta
  • James Patton, Owner of GLT Sign Solutions
  • Nicole DiGiorgio, Owner of Sweetness and Light Photography
  • Ben Borselino, Owner of Calfit Martinez
  • Tony Rishell, Martinez resident and prospective property owner
  • Linda Meza, Martinez resident
  • Anna Gwynn-Simpson, Director of Strategic Planning and Community Development City of Martinez

  • Dina Tasini, Planning Manager, City of Martinez
  • George Bell, Martinez Resident

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez

Main Street Martinez Reinvents Economic Restructuring Committee

The Main Street Martinez  Economic Restructuring Committee is actively working on new projects to strengthen business in Downtown Martinez. Follow us here to keep up with our current projects and business development downtown.

Candice Gliatto -

Chair of Economic Restructuring Committee and owner of Citrus Salon, Downtown Martinez