Calling all New Castle Downtown Merchants

An object in motion tends to stay in motion. The same could be said about a revitalized city center.

That’s the hope of New Castle Main Street, a non-profit dedicated to supporting the downtown businesses.

The city’s downtown is centered around Broad Street, includes Fleming and Race Streets and stretches from 11th to 15th Street.

New Castle Main Street Executive Director Carrie Barrett has invited the area businesses to a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1414 Venue to find out how everyone can help everyone else be successful.

“We would like to know more about what each of the businesses are doing and discuss how we can help each other through promotion and collaboration,” Barrett said. “I’ve always believed the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Barrett said the idea for a merchants’ meeting came from Pam Brake, owner of A Moment In Time Bridal and Professional Design.

Both of those long-time local businesses recently moved to Broad Street.

Brake said she was researching a bridal shop in Warsaw and noticed they had partnerships with their neighbors. She thought New Castle shops could try something similar.

“We hope to bounce ideas off everyone,” Brake said. “The more people that are involved, the more ideas we’ll get, hopefully.”

Brake is looking forward to seeing what sort of ideas come out of Wednesday’s meeting.

Barrett is thrilled at the opportunity for New Castle Main Street to help get the conversation going.

“There’s some way this momentum we seem to have right now will gain more,” Barrett said. “There’s a positive charge in the air right now.”

She pointed out New Castle’s downtown is already sort of geared toward wedding events.

There’s the dress shop, hair and nail salons, a jewelry store, multiple art studios, a restaurant, wine lounge and local bars, a bakery, a photographer and indoor and outdoor venues. Invitations can be printed in bulk at the office supply store. Couples can get matching tattoos downtown, too.

Downtown New Castle also offers lawyers, insurance and financial investment advice for the newly wed.

As part of an official “Main Street” organization, Barrett has the opportunity to visit other communities to learn what their “Main Street” groups are up to.

During a recent trip to Frankfort, she learned of a downtown “Merchants’ Association” network that works to cross-promote each business. The various merchants actively work to get their customers to visit other local shops.

Barrett doesn’t know what something like that would look like for downtown New Castle just yet. That’s up to the local businesses to figure out, she said.

And that conversation starts Wednesday evening.

“However New Castle Main Street can help the merchants, that’s what I’m happy to do,” Barrett said.

Barrett said the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corp. and New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, which both have offices downtown, are also invited to be a part of the conversation.

Barrett hopes the EDC, Chamber and Main Street can all work together to support New Castle’s downtown businesses.

“I really, really hope we can all communicate a lot,” Barrett said. “I think communication is missing in every community.”

Source: The Courier-Times

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