When I started in this Main Street world, I had one goal in mind and that was to improve my hometown. It grew out of a love for my community, and knowing our downtown needed help. I had no idea HOW to do it, no training, no education to teach me how…but I knew someone had to show it some love and attention.
When I arrived in Orlando in 2007, I had no idea how this would all translate. It was a new community and a new way of translating the Main Street Approach. But I knew if it was going to work, it would take that same type of love, attention and commitment from the community to be successful.
Continue reading Audubon Park – Great Leadership, A Great Neighborhood and A Great Story
Our very own Audubon Park Garden District has received a 2016 Great American Main Street Award, a national honor that recognizes the country’s best examples of comprehensive neighborhood commercial district revitalization.
APDG was recognized for reinventing itself from a neighborhood that historically served the nearby military base into a corridor flourishing with nationally-acclaimed small businesses, an epicenter for Orlando’s farm-to-table movement and its hosting of Zombietoberfest and Bastille Day that bring thousands of visitors to the district looking to partake in these unique, free events, which truly are #alocalthing.
Continue reading Audubon Park Garden District wins Great American Main Street Award
Entrepreneur…the word has always sounded so romantic to me. Dictionary.com lists the definition as “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” It is a French word that literally means to undertake. To me, it congers up notions of freedom, pride, self-assurance and achievement…but why wouldn’t it?
As today is Throw Back Thursday, allow me to reminisce a bit. You see, I am the daughter of a serial entrepreneur. My father was a dreamer…yes, that’s where I get it from. He ventured into many different entrepreneurial risks in his day. At some point in time, my parents added onto our home at 33 Main Street (yes, I was born on Main Street). It was built into a hill, so the basement was at street level, and it was located right downtown, across from all the shops. So, he put a storefront in our basement and launched his businesses, one after the other: a gun shop, an antique store and his last venture, Amy’s Restaurant…named for my mother, because she made all the pies. My parents ran the restaurant underneath our home. I grew up visiting them, playing in the restaurant, and though I don’t remember, I am told my dad put Chubby Checker’s The Twist on the jukebox and placed me on the counter while he and I twisted to entertain the customers. I was only 2 or 3 and don’t remember any of it…but that song. Continue reading Entrepreneurs
Together Everyone Achieves More
Orlando Main Streets are still a relatively new concept locally, and so I am frequently asked to present on what it is and what we do. Often I am asked the question what makes Main Streets different from other similar organizations and the answer is easy; volunteers.
Volunteers are the driving force behind local Main Street organizations. They are the community members who roll up their sleeves and get to work ensuring their neighborhood is the best it can be. Continue reading Volunteers are Changing their World
Shopping or dining locally and reinvesting in the City that we call home is key to helping our small businesses grow. This Saturday, November 28th, you can do just that by shopping small on Small Business Saturday.
Small businesses provide our City with goods and services that drive our local economy and create job opportunities for residents, enhancing the quality of life in Orlando.
Continue reading Shop Small on Small Business Saturday with Mayor’s Favorite Things