Foley Main Street’s 2019 Annual Report
By Jessica Vaughn Gulf Coast News Today
FOLEY - One and a half years ago, Foley was chosen as the next designated city to be part of Main Street Alabama. A lot has happened since then, and there’s still a lot more to look forward to in the future, but one thing is for certain: Foley has already made an impression within the Main Street family.
During Foley’s December council, Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Main Street Alabama Marylon Barkan presented Foley Main Street board member Barbara Ingram an award honoring her as one of 21 Main Street Heroes in the state. The awards are part of Main Street’s annual plan to honor various programs, projects, and people within the organization throughout the state.
“Barbara is receiving this award today because she has been an advocate for the program from day one,” Barkan said. “She was involved with bringing the program here, has been engaged ever since it started, has done the interviewing for the two directors, has done the HR booklet, has done all the banking, all of the things that create a strong foundation.”
The Foley Main Street Board of Directors recently hired Darrelyn Dunmore to come on board as executive director after previous director, Sherry Sullivan, announced her resignation. Dunmore has since begun making connections and building relationships within the community.
“This whole year has been spent on organizing, taking care of the articles of incorporation, structural policy, budgeting and getting the books set,” said Dunmore.
During 2019, Foley Main Street’s Facebook page has risen from zero to 1,690 followers, the Instagram has gone from zero to 416 followers, and the organization had one ring-the-cash register event with Lucky to Live in Foley back in March. The event has been renamed to Lucky to Love Foley and will be happening again next year.
Business-wise there have been a survey of the residents, three surveys of Main Street businesses, 170 properties inventoried, and an in-depth market study. There have been 22 new/relocating businesses, 51 net new jobs, 1,067 volunteer hours, $744,000 public investment, and $778,923 private investment.
The big thing in 2020 will be promotion, getting the word out on what Main Street is, what all is involved, and what it does for the city. A large portion of showing what Main Street is, and more importantly what Foley represents, will come in the branding process, which will begin in May 2020 when representatives from Main Street Alabama again visit the area.
“As they’ve already done the marketing study and they have a lot of background material, they want to come in now with a different focus,” Dunmore said. “I’ve heard it should take around two to three months, and it should be a lot of fun.”
The brand will show off the heart of Downtown Foley and what it means to live in Foley. Once a brand has been announced, Dunmore states signage and other items for Foley Main Street will be designed with the brand included.
For more information on Foley Main Street, visit www.foleymainstreet.com