By DONNA RYDER
The first month of 2013 isn’t even over and Main Street-Union City executive director Phyllis Rauchle can hardly contain herself about the exciting year she sees ahead of her and the Main Street board.
When she spoke with The Messenger on Monday, she was bubbling over with joy at how well things are turning out for the downtown area. (See related photo, Page 17.)
The local organization is in the middle of a membership drive and Mrs. Rauchle said the response has been “absolutely overwhelming.”
Main Street, with board member Lolly Bearden in charge as drive chairman, is accepting memberships from anyone who wishes to be a “Friend of Main Street.” Traditional memberships start at $50 per business, but a new $25 level this year offers any individual, business or organization the opportunity to support Main Street, which helps to promote the downtown area.
“We are so excited and grateful with the response so far,” Mrs. Rauchle said.
Main Street, which owns the building its office and Suedell’s are located in, are in talks with the owners of Sugar & Spice in Martin to expand its ladies clothing business in Union City. Mrs. Rauchle said Sugar & Spice will be taking over the store area and has already started moving furniture to that location.
Mrs. Rauchle and Main Street board members will be the keynote speakers at the 7:45 a.m. March 19 edition of Business Matters, hosted by the Obion County Chamber of Commerce at the Obion County Public Library.
Union City’s Main Street will also serve as host for the West Tennessee Main Street Managers Meeting in March. The local board members will share ideas with other Main Street directors and board members from across West Tennessee.
Mrs. Rauchle recently returned from Nashville, where the Tennessee Main Street program held its statewide winter meeting. The two-day session was attended by directors from certified Tennessee Main Street communities. They exchanged best practices, learned about new resources and networked with fellow directors. Speakers for the event included Dr. Bridget Jones of Cumberland Region Tomorrow, Pamela Bartholomew of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Brooxie Carlton of Tennessee Economics and Community Development’s federal grants department.
The directors took the opportunity to say good-bye to state Main Street director Kimberly Nyberg. Her replacement is expected to be named in the next few weeks.
Mrs. Rauchle said, “Many positives were shared at this meeting with the excitement of new tourism and agriculture opportunities for Main Street communities.”
She said they were also informed of CDBG design opportunity grants which will be available this spring for Main Street and Tennessee Downtowns communities.
Others attending were Christina Blevins, Bristol; Laura Todd, Collierville; Kathie Fuston, Columbia; Toni Evans, Cookeville; Barbara Garrow and Tina Murrow, Dandridge; Steve Guttery, Dyersburg; Carol Foster and Rachel Harwell, Fayetteville; Nancy Williams, Franklin; Jann Mirkov, Greeneville; Katie Pace, Jackson; Sherri Mosley, Kingsport; April Judkins, Lawrenceburg; Todd Morgan, Morristown; Kathleen Herzog, Murfrees-boro; Frankie McCord, Ripley; Seth Sumner, Savannah; Marcia Mills, Tiptonville; Amy New, Tennessee Downtowns/Rural Development; and Marilyn Felts, Tennessee Rural Development.
Main Street-Union City recently completed its annual accreditation report and is awaiting confirmation from the state as a Tennessee Main Street program.
It works closely with all areas of economic development and several local civic organizations. Last year the organization partnered in events with the Union City Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Masquerade Theatre, Boys & Girls Club, Jaycee’s and J’cette’s and the Obion County Fair Association.
Main Street-Union City also is the annual sponsor for the Adult Leadership Obion County program.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.30.13