Success! Apalachicola is a Florida Main Street Community!

City moves forward for Historic Apalachicola Main Street Inc. to lead economic re-development in Apalachicola. Click here to see the "The Times" press release.

On August 11, 2010, the Apalachicola City Commission unanimously voted to endorse the newly established non-profit corporation, Historic Apalachicola Inc., in it’s application for the National Trust For Historic Preservation’s Main Street program. The Main Street program gives a framework that helps communities develop and implement their own ideas. Main Street is a volunteer-driven, locally envisioned, community based program with proven results. It is a trademarked Four Point Approach supported by eight guiding principles.

As a unique economic development tool, the Main Street Four-Point Approach® is the foundation for local initiatives to revitalize their districts by leveraging local assets—from cultural or architectural heritage to local enterprises and community pride.
The four points of the Main Street approach work together to build a sustainable and complete community revitalization effort
Read more....

Doing Business Downtown!

Economic Restructuring Committee Sets Time to Plan

The Committee focuses on strengthening a community's existing economic assets while expanding and diversifying its economic base. The Main Street program helps sharpen the competitiveness of existing business owners and recruits compatible new businesses and new economic uses to build a commercial district that responds to today's consumers' needs. Converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property also helps boost the profitability of the district.

The Way We Look Downtown!

The Design Committee

Design Committee.
The worksheet provided by the National Main Street Program is being used as a guideline for developing the work plan for each committee.
Design Committee Purpose - Getting Apalachicola into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets, such as historic buildings and pedestrian-oriented streets is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere, created through attractive window displays, parking areas, building improvements, street furniture, signs, sidewalks, and landscaping, conveys a positive visual message about the commercial district and what it has to offer. Design activities also include instilling good maintenance practices in the commercial district, enhancing the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging appropriate new construction, developing sensitive design management systems, and long-term planning.
The group created a work plan, noting the importance of small incremental projects and the need to capture all ideas, even if they develop at a later time.
A. Training for the committee was discussed, Jan Thomas will visit High Springs and Stark to see their Main Street programs and will present their observations to the group. Amy and Andrew Friedman will check into other communities and will present to the group as well. Joe will request training from the state on the best practices for the Design Committee.
B. Clean-up Activities will be May 22 and October 02, 2011
C. A design assistance team will be developed consisting, but not limited to, George, Amy and Shirley. This group will be a “peer assistance’ service for fellow business owners. Jan requested to be the first to receive the assistance.
D. Two simple design improvements projects were identified, the Center for History, Culture and Art and potentially Pendelton’s Gas Station. Jeff Squire will be asked if he would like to participate.
E. The group identified the need to take a photo building inventory. Shirley and Jim work with the Economic Restructuring Committee to complete the task.
F. Relating to public amenities and streetscape, the group discussed the CDBG grant that is in the process. The Design Committee was in unanimous support of the project, especially the public restrooms. The group offers to include the maintenance of the restrooms in its work plan, ensuring they stay clean and secure.
G. Maintenance practices for downtown buildings was discussed, the group was sensitive to ensure business/property owners are “supported in what they want to do, not told what to do”.
H. The need for a Design Improvement Plan was agreed upon, George Coon will take on the project, and make some recommendations.  The current Design guidelines will be read to see if they include downtown commercial property. 
I. The Committee agreed to an inclusive team and recommended we add all interested volunteers.
 
 
 

Our Chamber of Commerce

The Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) organization made up of business owners, operators, and community residents in Apalachicola, St. George Island, Eastpoint and the surrounding area.  The Chamber is a tax exempt business league devoted to the improvement of business conditions of one or more lines of business. The mission of the organization is to promote a successful business environment for its membership while balancing the need to support the preservation of the area's unique culture, history and natural resources. Chamber membership is an investment in the future of our community. Clink here for a link to the Chamber Website.

Promote Downtown!

Promotion Committee Develops Exciting Work-Plan

 
Promotion Committee purpose is as follows - Sells a positive image of the commercial district and encourages consumers and investors to live, work, shop, play and invest in the Main Street district. By marketing a district's unique characteristics to residents, investors, business owners, and visitors, an effective promotional strategy forges a positive image through advertising, retail promotional activity, special events, and marketing campaigns carried out by local volunteers. These activities improve consumer and investor confidence in the district and encourage commercial activity and investment in the area.
The group created a work-plan, noting the importance of small incremental projects and the need to capture all ideas, even if they have to be developed at a later time.
  1. A year round promotional calendar for Historic Apalachicola was discussed, noting the existing activities and events that will be supported. The Historic Apalachicola GMail calendar will list events
  2. The group initiated a new special event, to be preliminarily referred to as “Second Saturdays”. Jody, Paulette, and Amanda will serve as the work group. The concept is for a business to feature something ( an artist, a musician, a food, a sale, whatever) and anyone who desires can stay open late on the second Saturday of each month. The event will happen each month, consistently, to build repeat traffic.
  3. Retail/business promotions were discussed to include, meet the merchants ( which evolved into meet the chef, seafood worker, business owner, whatever .. be inclusive) The importance of packages was discussed to include working with established groups, supporting the Apalachicola School of Art and incorporating the lodging providers, To support retail, the group discussed a www.shopapalach.com shopping bag that promoted the entire district. The concept was to sell ads on the bags and give them to the merchants to use. The website would connect to the shopping page on the Historic Apalachicola website.
  4. The work sheet recommended producing one image-enhancing event. The group worked with the City’s History, Culture and Arts Board to produce the “Festival of Ice” in August.  The ice sculpting competition may be able to be expanded if funding is available. It was thought that an Ice Sculpting competition in August in Florida ( and in the birthplace of man made ice) would get some attention.
  5. The marketing for the promotion committee will target a specific market, Tallahassee. A joint advertising campaign with Tallahassee magazine will be explored.  Paulette will schedule meetings with COCA to partner in a joint venture. The group discussed forming a “speakers bureau” / Ambassador program.
  6. The website is being populated. www.historicapalachicola.com.  Listings for all businesses in Apalachicola will be provided at no cost, if people like the site, they will be able to buy a banner ad to support the program. Business cards, a banner, and postcards have been printed to support the site.
  7. Historic Apalachicola MAIN STREET volunteers assisted the City to host the TDC writer’s reception on the dock in Riverfront Park in May and in October.
 

Get Behind Downtown!

Join The Organization Committee!

The Board of Directors and the Committee Chairs make up the Organization Committee. They focus on getting everyone working toward the same goal and assembling the appropriate human and financial resources to implement a revitalization program. A governing board and standing committees make up the fundamental organizational structure of the volunteer-driven program. This structure not only divides the workload and clearly delineates responsibilities, but also builds consensus and cooperation among the various stakeholders.

City of Apalachicola Downtown Projects

City Receives Commercial Revitalization Grant, Businesses Celebrate the Building of Public Restrooms
The City’s commercial district will receive a $700,000 facelift thanks to a recent federal grant to improve the appearance, function and safety of the town’s commercial areas that fall within the town’s Community Redevelopment Area (CRA). The CDBG grant will be used to improve the general appearance of Market Street from the foot of the bridge through town with sidewalk improvements, lighting and landscaping. The grant will also construct public restrooms across from the Riverfront Park near downtown stores and high traffic pedestrian areas on Commerce Street. Other improvements include extending a sidewalk along Water Street and installing decorative lights, planting of trees, underground utility relocation and the construction of benches and placement of trash receptacles throughout the area.

The grant was initiated by the City’s newly activated Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board. The CRA board, headed up by Apalachicola resident Dieter Ambose, was activated in 2010 as a funding vehicle to help revitalize targeted areas of the City. The grant is the CRA’s first large-scale project. It is expected that the grant activities will benefit local residents as well as tourists looking for pedestrian-friendly amenities such as bathrooms, benches and trash receptables.

A separate smaller project area is located on 8th street between Avenue E and F. This area includes a portion of an originally platted city square which will be location of a new information kiosk. Historically considered the entrance to the City’s African-American commercial district, the kiosk will provide area information.

Initial construction on the commercial district projects is scheduled to begin at the beginning of 2012. A series of workshops soliciting public opinion on design aspects and details were held.For more information, please contact Betty Webb, City Administrator 850/653-8222. Here is a Link to our City's Website.