It is not uncommon for cities, counties, and state legislatures to look at Main Street Programs, Downtown Programs, and Business Improvement Districts as a “safe place” where to slash budgets to make up for lost revenue or to fund other

pet programs. Regardless of the wisdom in such decisions it is a reality that many of you face everyday. If this is not your case, we nonetheless recommend that you are prepared and take preventive measures so that you don’t find yourself in the desperate situation of some. That is why we bring you the “Top 5 Ways to Generate Revenue” for your Main Street, Downtown, or BID.

  1. Activate your Allies Even though it doesn’t feel like that sometimes, there are many people that want to see you succeed. Ask those individuals’ (board of directors, business owners, city officials, etc.) feedback, and make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their support. Invite the to activities so that they can see you at work and have them witness how much you do with so little. In no time, those allies will turn into advocates who will go to bat for you when the going gets tough!
  2. Celebrate your Victories Nothing wrong with bragging! Share stats with anybody that will listen. Show how the foot traffic you generate raises sales tax income in your improvement district (you can get this numbers from the local economic development office), keep track of event assistance, anecdotal data from business owners, etc. Publish them in your blog, social media platforms, and make sure they are part of every presentation you have with City Council/County Authorities or the Legislature. When the conversation to slash budgets comes around, it will be more difficult for them to not see the value in your organization since they will be well acquainted with the benefits of having you around.
  3. Sponsor the Heck out of your Activities Use as little of your budget as possible if you can get others to sponsor. Big box retailers can provide food, paper goods, etc (even if they are not on your district), restaurants, soft drink distributors, local businesses, etc. You have a big network use it and save your money for other expenses where trades won’t do like payroll 🙂
  4. Consider Charging a Membership Fee This may be a stretch for some of you, but there are plenty of organizations that are strictly membership based, or some sort of hybrid where they get tax money in addition to membership fees. You can start by offering large players the opportunity to have their name displayed on your website/mobile app (if you are a ProsperWalk community), among other opportunities. Large businesses like to see themselves involved in the community and you would be surprised by the money you can raise
  5. Use Technology This is where the shameless plug for ProsperWalk resides. We designed our platform with Main Streets, Downtowns and Business Improvement Districts in mind. We know how tight your budget is and how our technology can help you generate revenue, drive foot traffic, all in an easy to use and powerful Mobile App/Website combo. Would you like to learn more? We can show you how it all works in a 15 minute demo. Click here to schedule yours!
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