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RECDC Plan – Objectives – Strategies

5 POINT PLAN

1. Preserve Ridgefield’s Image and Personality:
– Safeguard Ridgefield’s unique “Norman Rockwell” persona.
– Promote Ridgefield as a leading Cultural and Arts destination.
2. Strive for Sustainable Economic Growth:
– Identify Internal and External Best Practices that can support existing businesses.  All Ridgefield businesses can expect ECDC support, regardless of their Ridgefield address.
– Secure new tenants to include regional and / or national occupants that would significantly increase foot traffic and  contribute meaningful tax revenue.
– Identify short and long term parking solutions.
3. Geographic Focus:
– Focus initially on Main Street, as well as Catoonah, Bailey, Governor, Prospect.
– Promote & Support the Potential Branchville TOD Project.
– Support Implementation of an approved Schlumberger Plan.
4. Innovation & Branding:
– Develop Active Marketing, primarily supported by the imminent re-design of our ECDC & Town websites.
5. Improved Coordination & Communication:
– BOS <> State & Federal EDC <> Chamber of Commerce <> Planning & Zoning <> Parking Authority

2017 Objectives, Goals, Strategies & Measures (O.G.S.M.)

Objectives:

To improve the commercial tax base with economic development focused on an inclusive and coordinated digital strategy that leverages the new ECDC website.

Goals:

1. Strategically Coordinate town marketing.
2. Hire/assign a part time resource, skilled in WordPress to manage ECDC web content.
3. Create economic growth with new strategic retailers to enhance the business community.
4. Build awareness of ridgefielddevelopment.com through coordinated digital marketing.
5. Drive entrepreneurs and businesses to lease Ridgefield’s low cost commercial office space.
6. Facilitate a “Make Ridgefield Business Friendly” strategy.

Strategies:

1. Coordination of all Events
i. Downtown Association President, Chamber Director & President and Arts Council Leadership attend an ECDC meeting once per Quarter.
ii. Partner with the Arts Council, Downtown Ridgefield, Chamber and other civic organizations to insure Town events calendar is populated to coordinate event marketing with broader reach within Fairfield and Westchester counties. Insure information is populated in the Town Events calendar located on ridgefieldct.org.
iii. Utilized part time resource trained in WordPress to facilitate all marketing press releases and to add weekly web updates with marketing content to drive ECDC site traffic and build awareness.
iv. Offer our part time resource under the management of the ECDC to: Downtown Ridgefield and the Arts Council members to incent coordination and maximize marketing effectiveness and number of website visits.
v. Monthly review of web analytics to refine, promote and adjust marketing efforts to maximize site visits.

2. Strengthen P&Z Linkages
i. Make Ridgefield Biz Friendly – digital P&Z applications and payments.
ii. ECDC Notification of interested parties by Town Planners and referrals to ECDC site.
iii. ECDC POV to P&Z when applicable during application review.
iv. ECDC counseling for small businesses.
v. Proactively Market and Fill Vacancies with STRATEGIC businesses.
vi. Participate with P&Z on first floor retail zoning evaluation.
vii. Provide free commercial listings on ECDC website, only for Ridgefield businesses.

3. Investigate an investment to create free wi-fi for Village and Park 2017/18 FY.

4. Continue Monthly Meetings with First Selectman

5. Coordinate small business education forums.
i. Digital Marketing
ii. State small business programs
iii. B2C business development

6. Continue to strengthen the ECDC commission with diversity and expertise.

7. Identify opportunities for High School intern(s)

Measures

1. First Qtr 2017
a. Implement digital business application processes on ECDC and Town websites..
b. Establish marketing best practices and processes for PT implementation (Jan).
c. Enroll vested organizations in a master “Events” calendar process and management.
d. Investigate retail zoning in partnership with P&Z.

2. Measure success of marketing placements (publications) by ECDC Part Time resource – monthly ECDC meeting and First Selectman meeting.
3. Evaluate the marketing placements website impact using metrics from Hostgator Stats and Google analytics.

4. Monitor percentage of vacant retail and office space inventory with the goal of reducing vacancies.

2016 Objectives, Goals, Strategies & Measures (O.G.S.M.)

Objective:

Develop Main Street, (06877) as a consumer destination, through the leadership of the EDC and in consult with input from SCRE Advisors.

Goals:

Make ground floor space occupancy a retail priority.
Increase foot traffic of existing occupants.
Increase annual sales per business through a comprehensive plan.
Preserve the unique character of Main Street.
Secure new tenants to include both national and regional occupants.
Leverage all of the assets on and adjacent to Main Street to become a regional draw.

Strategies:

Organize three task forces to develop BOS recommendations: Economic Development, Parking, Landlords

1. Economic Development Task Force – Chair:EDC
Redesign the ridgefieldct.org site to serves as both a municipal and marketing site
Leverage and market the assets with a specific focus on character and the arts
Utilize the strength of the Playhouse as a driver for Main Street growth
Link all related existing town and retail websites
Develop an organized marketing strategy for all town events
Coordinate an events planning and marketing strategy

2. Parking Task Force – Chair(s): Parking Commission/EDC
Implement a short term, actionable solution to resolve parking issues.
Identify a long term parking options that allows for anticipated increased demand

3. Retail Task Force – Chair(s): SCRE/EDC
Determine current sales/sq. ft for all tenants in the Village for each retail outlet
Secure benchmarking data
Identify best practices by commercial brokers to market space on a national and regional level for all of 06877.
Explore P&Z opportunities for village architectural enhancements and variances.
Identify “streetscape” enhancements and restrictions.
Research and identify state grant monies.
Identify retail consumer gaps to minimize resident out of town shopping and to drive increased visits to 06877.
Develop an action plan to leverage state government programs that incent expansion of existing businesses and facilitate new business development.

Measures:

Parking Commission delivers short term action plan to BOS by 7/15/2016.
EDC/SCREAdvisors present recommendations to BOS no later than 9/30/2016.
Town goes live with new www.ridgefieldct.org site on Oct / Nov /2016.
EDC presents 06877 marketing strategy to BOS Oct / 2016.
Parking Commission presents long term parking strategy recommendation by end of 2016.