FrostburgFirst Annual Membership Meeting
Tuesday, May 23
State of the Main Street Address
Jessica Palumbo, Main Street Manager
Good Evening and thank you for taking time to attend this year’s Annual Membership Meeting. I want to thank Andrea and Barb again for their support and dedication to the Main Street program after all these years. I want to thank all of our members and the Mayor and City Council for supporting FrostburgFirst’s initiatives, and I want to thank the Gin Mill, James and Tylor Dinteman, for providing space and a delicious meal as we conduct tonight’s business. As I round my second complete year with FrostburgFirst, I reflect on the new growth and plenty of excitement we’ve seen in downtown Frostburg.
To recap a few highlights, this year we:
- Coordinated with Frostburg State University to plan the Frostburg 101: A Taste of the City event, which brought 217 students directly into businesses last fall;
- We launched a very successful Small Business Saturday campaign, from which multiple businesses reported record sales for the day, and a vibrant Arts Walk, which showcased our budding Arts and Entertainment District;
- We received a grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to install new lamppost banners from the depot to Main Street, along Main Street and down Water St. and Broadway, which will help to create a sense of place and destination within our downtown;
- and we received a Recreational Trails grant to install wayfinding signage from the Frostburg Trail Head up to Main Street, to help guide and direct both trail riders and train riders up to our business district.
We are seeing progress not only in business development, but in the external development of our downtown, and it is my hope to see this growth continue through this next year.
Since our last Annual Membership Meeting, we’ve welcomed or cut ribbons for Funky Repurps, Wholesome Harvest, Allegheny trail House, Yellow K Records, Stellar Vapes, Clatter Coffee, Frostburgers, Toasted Goat Winery, Gunter Hotel/Gin Mill, Law Office of Jayci Duncan, and Sadie’s. Eleven new or expanding businesses in a year! And we still have a few more on the horizon!
This new generation of entrepreneurs and business owners recently caught the eye of a National small business growth company, placing Frostburg in the top 8 of the Small Business Revolution on Main Street competition, championed by Deluxe Corporation. It was by no accident or chance that we were selected for this honor. We’ve got an amazing community filled with dedicated business owners, community volunteers, and organizers who keep the pulse in our downtown. The opportunity to be recognized on a national level brought forth a renewed sense of pride in our community and instilled the important role our small businesses play in the fabric of our community.
We’re in a unique position at this point – we’re building a vibrant and robust small business climate, and it is going to take all hands on deck to keep the momentum going. My hope for the future of the organization is to gather more business owner involvement to help shape membership development and incentives for businesses and to develop meaningful and productive collective advertising campaigns so we can support the vast amount of private investment we’ve seen from small business owners. Together we can take small steps to support each other and provide a sustainable Main Street for business owners, our community, and visitors. In the next few weeks, we will be sending out information on how to get involved in shaping advertising campaigns and business membership packages. Your input will help shape how FrostburgFirst can support you as a business owner. Until then, I want to thank you for your continued support, and I look forward to what this year will bring.