Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DMS Annual Report -- May 2013

The Dixon Main Street Mission:
Since 1996, the Dixon Main Street has been an active, strong and exciting organization focused on the betterment of downtown Dixon and the city as a whole. We are an organization built and sustained by countless volunteers who are passionate about the services and events that Main Street provides. Our mission statement is simple: To foster a spirit of community teamwork and to strengthen, revitalize, and broaden the economic base of the community area, while improving the appearance of the downtown area, and promoting and marketing Dixon as a vibrant place to visit, work, shop, play, and live.

The Dixon Main Street Vision:
Dixon Main Street has a vision for the 21st century to enhance downtown Dixon’s rich history while continuing to develop our diverse dining, cultural, and shopping opportunities. Anchored by our premier riverfront, downtown Dixon offers a family friendly destination that is unique and inviting for visitors and residents alike. Dixon is a hip and modern downtown that keeps its roots in the historic fabric that has made our city great since 1830. All of this makes Dixon a wonderful destination and a fantastic place to call home

2013 Board of Directors
Scott Brown, Wendler Engineering (President)
Kevin Marx, KSB Hospital (Immediate Past President)
John Jones, Kitzmans Lumber (Vice President)
Donna-Louise Jasper, Blackhawk Insurance (Secretary)
Laura Bock, Sauk Valley Properties (Treasurer)
Mike Venier, Venier Jewelers
Becky Reilly, Sauk Valley Newspapers
Ryan Marshall, The Stables
Bill Mick, Raynor

Executive Director
Josh Albrecht

Looking Forward in 2013
As we move forward into 2013, Dixon Main Street will continue to create amazing festivals and events for the city of Dixon, along with our numerous behind-the-scenes programs for our businesses and merchants.
A few of our  goals for this year will be:
1) to continue the One Dixon Concept as we embark on moving into the Fifth Third Bank building with other non-profit groups in our community to create an alliance of organizations to strengthen the city.
2) to strengthen our partnership with the Petunia Festival and aid in the festivals transition into the downtown festival setting while also helping them plan for the special 50th Anniversary in 2014.
3) to create a new concert event in August to enhance Reagan Trail Days and to continue to make Dixon a hotbed for live music in the region.
4) to build up the Christmas Walk for the 25th Anniversary of that event.
5) to create and support more promotional opportunities for our merchants throughout the community.

2012 Highlights
MUMFORD & SONS GOTR Festival A 2-day festival that had more than 20,000 people between the Page Park festival grounds and downtown festivities. Estimated at bringing $4.5 million of spending to the city.
Musical Fridays Concert Series Free summer
concerts on the Riverfront from June—September. Added additional weeks.
Scarecrow Festival Nearly 5,000 people strolled through the downtown to enjoy games and family activities including pumpkin painting, doggy zoo, Monster Truck rides, Pumpkin Patch, games, activities and more.
24th Annual Christmas Walk A great tradition for the whole family in the downtown with more than 5,000 people in attendance and the popular Great Snowball Drop along with the Tree Lighting Ceremony and much more.
Reagan Trail Days Featured an ice cream social, community picnic, downtown festival, historic trolley rides, wine tasting, and the Dixon Municipal Band Concert.
And we also do ….
Founder’s Day Celebration, Fourth Grade History and Architecture Program, Lunch and Learn, Shop Talk  Merchants Meetings,  Monster Pancakes, Downtown Clean-up, Ultimate Tailgate, Community-Wide Garage Sales. Provided free office space for the Dixon Riverfront Commission.  Provided opportunities for community organizations to raise funds at special events. Worked to get the downtown on the National Register of Historic Places. Partnered with the Petunia Festival, Yaddy Memorial Event, Second Saturdays, Sauk Valley Shop Small, Historic Dixon Theatre, Dixon Historic Center, Reagan Boyhood Home, RR5K, Inc., Dixon Park District, YMCA, Dixon Municipal Band, Dixon Chamber of Commerce, LCCOA, Noon Lions, and many more

Dixon Main Street Dollars and Cents
Dixon Main Street is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Our efforts are designed to enhance the city of Dixon through downtown revitalization, historic preservation and promotional events. We make every effort to put the money that we receive in donations and support back into the city that we serve. We operate on a budget of just over $100,000 each year.

Where our funds go ...
- Downtown improvements such as our banner project and Christmas decorations.
- Local Musicians and artists-- a wide variety of local musicians perform at our festivals and Musical Fridays, including Acoustic Circus, Robbie LeBlanc, Jeff Kagay, The Cool Kids and more.
- Partnerships with Restaurants and Bars  -- We often need food and drink for our events and many restaurants and bars benefit from these opportunities.
- Special Event Venues -- our events and programs are held throughout the community at various locations, including the Post House Ballroom, Historic Dixon Theatre, Loveland Community House, Timber Creek and many more.
- Partnerships with organizations -- with so many events, we often need help and will make donations to organizations that lend a hand.
- Event costs -- Every event has money spent through advertising and other promotional material, supplies and resources and other event needs.
- Administrative -- We have a full-time executive director, a downtown building to maintain and pay taxes on, utility costs, and general operating expenses.

Where our funds come from ...
Fundraising events -- Events like our golf outing, annual gala, theatre events, Ulitmate Tailgate and much more.
Annual Fundraising Campaign -- The annual fundraising campaign accounts for about 10 percent of our budget each year.
Fundraisers -- Streetlight Banner Program, DMS garage sale, Christmas Walk Raffle and other small fundraisers.
- Donations and Grants -- We apply for grants from various organizations and businesses. We also receive donations from individuals and businesses in the community. And we received donations from Petunia Festival, RR5K, Dixon Wine and Beer Festival and the Yaddy Memorial Tournament for helping with those events.
- The City of Dixon -- The City of Dixon generously grants DMS funds each year; for FY2012-2013, the city will have granted DMS $14,000. This is about 14 percent of the total Dixon Main Street Budget.

What you may not know about our funds ...
- The city of Dixon grants DMS money each year; however, we do not see any funding from the state or federal government.
- Many of our promotional events are designed as free events for the community and do not create revenue for DMS; events such as Scarecrow Festival, Christmas Walk, Musical Fridays and the 4th Grade Tours are funded by sponsors and DMS. When full sponsorships are not attained, DMS uses its general funds to make sure these community events continue.
-  While we are a non-profit organization, we are still subject to taxes like other businesses. Each year, we pay payroll taxes and property taxes as part of being a business.

The Value of Main Street
In 2008, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture published the book, Economic Value of Urban Design, which analyzed the impact of community Main Street programs. Some of his findings include:
  • Higher percentages of job increases in active Main Street cities.
  • The most significant changes in increased property values, retail sales volume and ground-floor rental rates occurred in small city programs.
  • More entrepreneurship in active Main Street cities than in former and non-Main Street cities.
  • Higher (and in some cases, 'considerably higher') taxable retail sales occurred in Main Street cities
  • Both financial and non-financial benefits accrued from participating in the Main Street effort
  • “The Main Street Four-Point Approach [is] the most successful of all 16 downtown development strategies studied." 
The Four Point Committee Approach
The following committees meet on a monthly basis to complete annual work plans, which are created to guide activities and provide a yardstick for success of the organization. 
Organization – This committee is charged with building consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process. They work to market Main Street and its goals to the community and recruit new volunteers and members.
Promotion – Marketing downtown’s assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens and visitors is the main role of this committee.  This group also works to market the downtown as a “fun” and exciting place to visit and shop through annual events and retail promotions.
Design – This group works toward enhancing the physical appearance of downtown by capitalizing on its assets and heritage. Rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging sensitive new construction, developing design management systems, and long term planning fall under Design.
Economic Restructuring – This committee works toward strengthening downtown’s economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities for development.  The group looks at ways to improve retail mix, build a stronger tax base, and create a stable role for the downtown as a major component of the community’s economic health. 
The Main Street Philosophy
Comprehensive – An ongoing series of initiatives is vital to build community support and create lasting progress.
Incremental – Small projects make a big difference; they demonstrate that “things are happening” and hone the skills and confidence necessary to tackle more complex problems.
Self-Help – Only local leadership can initiate long-term success by fostering and demonstrating community involvement and commitment to the revitalization effort.
Public/private partnership – Main Street requires the support and expertise of both the public (local government) and private (businesses and residents) sectors.  For an effective partnership, each must recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the other.
Identifying and capitalizing on existing assets – Local assets provide the solid foundation for a successful Main Street initiative.
Quality – From storefront design to promotional campaigns to special events, quality must be the main goal.
Change – Changing community attitudes and habits is essential to bring about revitalization.  A carefully planned Main Street program will help shift public perceptions and practices to support and sustain the revitalization process.
Action-oriented – Frequent, visible changes in the look and activities of the commercial district will reinforce the perception of positive change.  Small, but dramatic improvement will remind the community that the revitalization effort is underway. 

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