This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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From the lack of a cohesive business community Downtown amid a growth boom, the Downtown Business Alliance (DBA) was formed just months ago. A board is in place working hard at providing value for its members. The DBA of Boca is not like any other Boca organization. There are no membership tiers. There is no sponsorship of events. No money is raised to giveaway. There are no pigs in blankets.
The DBA of Boca is evolving. It has become a gateway for Downtown Boca Business. We are engaged in conversations with private companies to bring forth transportation and parking alternatives. Until now, our members have had to leave Downtown just to meet other professionals and promote their businesses. We are connecting professionals located Downtown. We are attending CRA meetings and working with city staff and elected officials to promote Downtown as a central business district, not just a residential neighborhood and food, drink and shopping destination. Throughout the country, cities are centralizing away from suburbs and into downtowns. With the many new residences built and rising from the ground, everyone agrees that a vibrant central business district is critical to attracting new businesses, tourists and residents to our city. The DBA is committed to that vision.
After only one membership meeting, many dozens of businesses have already joined as members. One nominal payment covers the entire business, for-profit and not-for-profit. This means all employees and members of organizations can be involved at no additional cost and play whatever role they choose within the community. Investments Limited has joined and has urged its tenants throughout Downtown to join. The Boca Raton Museum of Art has joined, its staff members have become active community members. We look forward to promoting this cultural gem, as well as the Boca Raton Historical Society, which has also joined. The largest architectural firms in town, which have designed the largest and newest projects downtown, have also joined. Physicians. Lawyers. Brokers. Everyone Downtown wants to join the DBA.
Our next big leap is our website and social media presence. Every member wants to grow and promote his or her business and brand. The organization’s web directory will provide enormous value to our members, as each member will have a hyperlink to its website. Our online calendar will promote every event of every member, along with every CRA event, and the CRA will continue to promote its members’ events. It has been a great start to effective public/private partnership.
A project under consideration by the Board for its membership is an “app” for anyone to download, ok – which could provide an incredible Downtown experience. Using various online products, along with 3-d imaging of members’ businesses, there may soon be a way for anyone to head Downtown and view the insides of shops, plates at restaurants and the insides of other businesses with specials and other promotions being pushed through the app onto a mobile device, making Downtown Boca, itself, an interactive experience, and may soon put Boca Raton on the news, worldwide!
Everything the DBA does will create a sense of a vibrant central business district in Boca Raton, enhance the experience of owning a business and working downtown, and create a true sense of community for our members.
We have already formed walk teams for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, as we will for each of the charity walks which take place downtown. These teams will be key for our members to take their business relationships from ”casual” to a higher lever—and beyond the cocktails and pigs in blankets is where real business relationships are formed, the level of true community. This idea of “raising the level of relationship” was the subject of a Boca Lead talk earlier this year at the Boca Community Church, which has become an active member. Our members will have Boca Lead discussions, other discussion groups, and have speakers’ series and other events which create a cohesive business community.
We are only a couple of months in, and the Board has focused on building the infrastructure of a durable organization, instead of rushing to grow its membership. Yet, the applications keep coming. We will continue to explore ways to allow our members to promote themselves to the many businesses who continue to ask to join, but are not located Downtown, or do not have a substantial business interest Downtown (our membership criteria)—so under consideration is a “Friends of the DBA” membership, as are joint events with other organizations.
Whatever your thoughts of how Downtown Boca has evolved to date, moving forward everyone stands to gain from a vibrant central business district with a cohesive business community. That is how Downtown Boca is doing business…the DBA.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561-302-8667 for a copy of the Downtown Business Alliance of Boca Raton 2017 membership application. Please share this announcement with your business neighbors! Have them join the alliance and become active in
OUR Downtown Boca COMMUNITY.