Publisher's Note: Succeed together
By Jody Reese
The city of Nashua is looking to create a special downtown district to fund projects downtown. It’s a great idea.
Money for a nonprofit group, likely Nashua’s Great American Downtown, would be raised by an extra tax on properties in the downtown district — between $.75 and $1.25 per thousand dollars of assessed value — to create programs to bring more people downtown and develop more business there. It’s worked well in Manchester with Intown Manchester.
There are a couple of key benefits to having one group — funded by property owners — working on behalf of all of downtown. First, it is exactly that — one group focused like a laser on downtown.
Second, downtowns need promoting and activities. Downtowns are shopping malls but without all the marketing and rules that make them so attractive to consumers. In Nashua, Manchester and Concord the downtowns also lack an anchor store, such as a Macy’s. It’s a tried and true way to support a large retail ecosystem. Yet in this area it’s almost impossible to attract these retail giants. But downtown groups can create events, marketing campaigns and even work to keep the streets clean to overcome the anchor deficit.
Nashua’s downtown is a real treasure but it needs a cohesive force working for it every day. And best of all, the people who pay the taxes will benefit the most.