Some Macomb aldermen question whether enough is being done to fill empty storefronts on the courthouse square.
“We do seem to have a lot of vacancies downtown and that number seems to be growing,” said Alderman At Large Dennis Moon.
The city financially supports the Downtown Development Corporation to focus on the downtown district. The city’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins May 1, 2014 sets aside $63,000 for the organization.
But Fourth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett feels the city is not getting a good return on its investment.
“I think we are spending far too much time throwing parties and not going out and looking for small businesses to come into the downtown area,” said Dorsett.
He said the DDC should be looking to other communities for small businesses that might want to expand their brand.
Fifth Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter said the economy might be part of the reason for the number of empty storefronts. But Alderman At Large Don Wynn suggested the DDC still needs to do more.
“We’re still throwing money at it and we’re still not gaining,” said Wynn. “Even though it’s the economy, we’re spending that money on what?”
Aldermen agreed to meet with representatives from the DDC to talk about what the group is doing.
Moon said it might make sense to restructure the duties of the DDC and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which also receives city money. He said it might make sense to have the CVB oversee events such as the Park ‘n’ Cruise and Dickens on the Square and allow the DDC to focus on business recruitment.