Things you can do!

Look at the downtown as if you were a first time visitor. Is it clean, safe, attractive? Does it offer an appealing and useful range of goods and services?

Visit other downtown. Take notes and photos of what works and what does not.

Compile an inventory of your downtown's current businesses. Use an old city directory to list the businesses that used to be downtown 10 years ago. Encourage local media to do a story.

Invite every group that should have an interest in your commercial district's future to meet and discuss needs and opportunities for change.

Involve students in the revitalization effort. Visit schools to talk about your downtown's history and its role in the community.

Sponsor an "architectural detail" contest in the local newspaper. Each week, publish a photo of a different detail from a downtown building and award a prize to the first person to correctly identify the building.

Develop a walking tour map of the commercial district, highlighting historic buildings. Distribute via the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, hotels, restaurants and downtown businesses.

Organize a downtown festival! Involve many, many people and offer something-food, music, games-for everyone.

Dig up old photographs of downtown buildings. Sponsor a contest to identify them. Pair the historic photos with new photographs in a public display to show how downtown has changed.

Tell local government staff and officials how important downtown is to you. Encourage them to pursue public-private partnerships to revitalize your downtown.

Organize and participate in Preservation Week, held every May, by holding an open house of downtown businesses. Running a daily newspaper column on downtown history and offering tours.

Survey downtown employers to determine how your commercial district compares to other local industries in its contribution to the economy. How many people work downtown? Doing what?

If your community already has a downtown revitalization project in the works, do not be shy-join it!