Downtown Assistance Program

The Texas Downtown Association has expertise and experience in many areas of downtown revitalization. Whether you need a speaker for a merchants meeting or a facilitator for strategic planning, the Texas Downtown Association can meet your needs.

Downtown Assistance Program services are for TDA members only.

The service includes all preparation, on-site, and follow-up time and materials. Travel expenses (air and ground transportation, meals, lodging, and incidentals) are additional and are based on direct reimbursable expenses incurred.

Read below to learn about the impact of downtown assessments on other Texas communities:

Quitman

Almost three years ago, I made a major career change and began the journey to help revitalize Downtown Quitman, Texas. Here's a little back ground of my "why" - Quitman was the hometown to my husband and just 8 miles away from my family land that has been in our family since the very early 1900's. The little town was starting to grow weary of any new business in the area.

My relationship with TDA started out of desperation. I had spent the first 15 years of my life in the telecommunications industryand did not know a lot about economic development. I did know however - that it's always best to associate with people who are better than you at what you are doing. There is a lot to be learned from the time-tested experience of others. I have always been an excellent manager of relationships. In the end - if you have the right people & processes in place, you will be successful if you stay focused. I did not have the first clue about what I was doing when I started - in fact, my manual said "start here" on a post-it note. I registered and went to a TEDC basic course and learned a lot about the 4B structure and how to maneuver in a municipality - which I might add is completely different from the private corporate space I was used to. Alysia Cook taught one of my courses. She was an incredible teacher, and she really taught me so much about what I was trying to do, but even more, she told me about the Texas Downtown Association. We have stayed in contact, and she truly has given me so much in such a short time.

After the TEDC conference, I contacted Catherine Sak and began my most valuable relationship in downtown revitalization. You see when your city is under 2,000, Economic Development and Downtown in my opinion go hand in hand. The first step - I had to do whatever I had to do to get TDA people down to Quitman. I had spoken with Kiki Bettis & Shane Shepard and they encouraged me to do have a site visit done. We did that and that visit is where everything started to really take off - because I had a plan. We took everything to heart from cleaning up our empty buildings, to having street dances and everything I between.

This past year has flown by since the last TDA conference. The conference in Killeen was the pivot point for Quitman. We met and began a relationship with Colonial Construction at the Anice Reed Silent Auction. This relationship grew fast and furiously. They came and attended a hard hat party in Downtown Quitman and that simple party for potential investors on a very cold November night sealed the relationship. That hard hat party was on an empty lot full of construction material that did not make sense at the time. That empty lot where two abandoned buildings were falling down will be home to nearly 11,000 square feet of new development a with a partnership of the Quitman Development Corporation & Colonial Construction.

Today, 8 months later we have everything in place to move forward with our major renovation in Downtown Quitman - with Colonial Construction - because of Texas Downtown Association - because of a simple site visit - because by working with industry experts, we made our dreams reality. I'm proud to say that my affiliation with Texas Downtown Association was the key for our small town being able to begin a very successful revitalization program.

Denea Hudman, Executive Director
Quitman Development Corporation

El Campo

The City of El Campo was the recipient of a downtown assessment performed by TDA in 2014 and that was the catalyst that we needed to get our process started. Just organizing the merchants and creating the buzz about the efforts planned set us in a forward motion towards a collaboration that has paid off extremely well by getting all stakeholders involved. Many of the suggestions from TDA have been put into place and ultimately helped lead to the creation of a Planning Director position to help guide us with updating our ordinances. We have seen a great effort on the part of the merchants to clean up, renovate and create new spaces downtown. It has been very contagious and things are looking great with lots of activity occurring on a regular basis with Farmer’s Markets that the City sponsors and Block Parties that a vendor has sponsored. Many of the buildings that had been vacant for many, many years are now housing a thriving business. It has been a great success story so far and we are still seeing it unfold as we go. We cannot thank TDA enough for offering a very affordable option to our community to assist us with the outside perspective, experience, and knowledge that we needed.

Mindi Snyder, City Manager
City of El Campo

Crowley

The downtown assessment visit from TDA was beneficial to our Main Street revitalization efforts because it helped structure the conversation between city council, staff, and community stakeholders.  One of the first steps in any long-term goal is determining where to begin and who needs to be included in the endeavor. The TDA report prepared specific to our city helped give us that groundwork by pointing out our strengths, weaknesses, funding tools and assistance available.

From a staff viewpoint, having TDA visit our city helped kick off revitalization efforts by facilitating the conversation between city administrators, council members and community stakeholders to determine what our common goals and objectives were for Downtown.  It was refreshing to have a new perspective on our community in regards to its strengths and weaknesses and to receive recommendations on how to improve from those who have been through this process before. The TDA report prepared specific to our city helped give us areas to focus on as we prepare our long and short term goals.

Julie Hepler, Community Services Administrator
City of Crowley

Test 

Procuring Speakers

Potential topics include, but not limited to: downtown organization and program development, downtown director orientation, downtown master planning, board member duties/orientation, economic development strategies, festivals, events & promotions, historic preservation and design, streetscape projects, tourism development and marketing and volunteer management.

Downtown Assessment Visits

The purpose of the downtown assessment is to bring a group of downtown professionals to your downtown, talk about challenges and issues you’re facing, tour your downtown district, meet with stakeholders, and provide a report with recommendations for the different stages of revitalization - short term, mid-range, and long-term.

Board and Downtown Stakeholders Training Sessions

This training varies with your needs, but TDA can help provide the tools necessary to make your association function more effectively.

Strategic Planning

This option is ideal for a downtown or Main Street program that is interested in developing an annual strategic plan with action items and steps.