Downtown is the core component of many of our cities.
Studies have shown that when the downtown thrives – the city seems to follow.
The City of Minot’s chief resilience officer says that a proposed economic development task force could help their downtown and the city.
For many, the heart of the city lies downtown.
“I love it,” said Minot Resident.
John Zakian, Minot’s chief resilience officer says that with a thriving downtown – the entire city will see the economic impacts. The city spent about $90,000 of federal resilience funds for the International Economic Development Council to study the city.
The group pointed out key strengths and weaknesses in the city’s downtown. One of the strengths included assests like parking garages and new infrastructure. But it also found weaknesses such as leadership and not having shopper-friendly hours.
“10 o’clock is too late to open. 9 o’clock is preferable,” said Minot Resident.
“There needs to be a partnership between the city and all these different stakeholders,” said John Zakian, Chief Resilience Officer.
Zakian says having a task force made up of city leaders that focuses on economic development could be the answer to a stronger economy.
“There needs to be a comprehensive city wide economic development strategy that kind of embraces all parts of the city,” said Zakian.
One of the problems the task force is going to try to solve is this – doors that won’t open because the business no longer exists and that’s something they want to change.
“There’s no current organization either city wide or within the downtown that is really positioned or structured to help building owners and property owners fill that space,” said Zakian.
He adds that bringing in different types of businesses is crucial so that businesses aren’t closing one another down.
“They need to move forward,” said Zakian.
The question of a economic development task force is due to be discussed at tonight’s Minot City Council meeting.