August 19, 2014
Business owners are asking for help finding a way to make Charlottesville's Downtown Mall more competitive. So some of them have turned to city council with an idea they think might make a big difference.
They want to create a new business improvement district.
The district would be an area, centered around the Downtown Mall, that would be assessed a property-tax like fee. That money would create an organization that would help market downtown businesses.
Members of the Downtown Business Association sent a letter to city council making their case for it.
The association is asking city council for a $55,000 loan to get it rolling.
CBS19 spoke to three locally-owned stores on the mall off camera that said they have had a very tough year for sales, and are worried about the long-term viability of their businesses. Several large property owners signed off in support of the concept.
Charlottesville City Council has agreed to consider it and is open to the idea. They are going to get more details and figure out if it’s something they want to invest in doing in the coming weeks.
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