Survey says: Local businesses want more events and parking in downtown Milton

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Published June 27, 2022 at 3:07 pm

More than 70 local businesses responded to the recent Downtown Milton Business Improvement Area survey and the consensus is there needs to be more promotion of the downtown community.

“The findings of the survey can help the DMBIA and other stakeholders better support the success of local businesses and contribute to a vibrant and resilient downtown,” said a spokesperson for the group.

A total of 73 members participated in the survey, about a third of the membership.

Members ranked the DMBIA’s strategic priorities in order of importance to them:

  1. Enhanced promotion of the downtown Milton community and its businesses (through events, marketing and promotions, etc.)
  2. Enhanced downtown experience for businesses and visitors through beautification efforts
  3. Increased focus on the attraction of new businesses to downtown Milton
  4. Enhanced advocacy with local governments on key issues affecting downtown

According to the survey, members appreciate the DMBIA team’s work in promoting the downtown, sharing relevant information and updates with members, planning events, beautifying the downtown, supporting businesses and reaching out to members in person.

At the same time, many indicated that some businesses get more exposure than others and that they wanted more in-person meetings with other members. They also said that there is a lack of parking downtown and that more needs to be done to clean up litter garbage on the sidewalks and streets.

Members see opportunities to strengthen the downtown and capitalize on current strengths. Hosting events downtown is one of the best ways to increase foot traffic to local businesses. Members believe the unique historic character and welcoming atmosphere of the downtown is one of its greatest assets.

Members identified a lack of parking as the most significant threat to the downtown. The decline in foot traffic as well as lockdowns and public health restrictions have severely threatened the downtown community and local businesses.

In the next couple years, many members plan to grow their businesses or expand some element of it. They also plan to build or support a community, promote their business and make improvements to their property or space. Downtown revitalization and helping the business recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic are also important to members.

In general, members believe events positively benefit the downtown community and would like to see them running as much as possible. The events that received the highest scores from members were the Downtown Milton Street Festival, Downtown Milton HolidayFest and the Milton Farmers’ Market on Main Street.

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