ADDC mentions possibly reviving Albemarle Downtown Business Association

Initial discussions about bringing back the Albemarle Downtown Business Association was one of the topics discussed during a Tuesday morning Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation meeting at Stanly Community College’s Small Business Center.

As part of the ADBA, business owners in the downtown met on a monthly or semi-monthly basis to discuss how to best promote themselves and often teamed up for big events, like deciding on a theme for window displays during Christmas, ADDC board chair Edna Lipe-Harkey said.

“It gave you all, the downtown businesses, an opportunity to meet and do what you’re doing now,” Lipe-Harkey told meeting attendees. “What are we going to do? What are you going to do? How are we going to cross-promote? Those kinds of things that could get done in more depth in a shared way with a lot of the voices of the people participating from the businesses at the table. ”

While the ADBA has a history that predates the ADDC, it’s been dormant the past several years, though it never officially dissolved. ADDC director Joy Almond found records showing the group was around from at least 2002 to 2013, but she has been told the organization was active much earlier. The organization was not active when she began working with the ADDC in 2015.

Lipe-Harkey mentioned she had a “brief experience” with the ADBA in the 1980s and early 1990s as a guest at some of their meetings.

Over the past few years, as the downtown has expanded, with more and more new businesses moving into the area, “we wonder if it’s not the time to pull that group back together,” Lipe-Harkey told the business owners at the meeting.

Though the ADDC works to promote the local businesses and hosts several large-scale events each year, having a separate organization comprised solely of business owners would help to further bolster the downtown area.

While there seemed to be some excitement about bringing the ADBA back to life, Almond said the next step would be to designate someone as the contact person to help bring interested business owners together. The ADDC would provide a support role as the group comes together.

“Even if it starts with a small core of folks, people will see what’s happening and it will hopefully build and add up from there,” Lipe-Harkey said.

In addition to the ADBA discussion, Almond also presented a calendar of events happening in the downtown later this year. They include:

  • Opening of the Smithsonian Display at the Stanly County History Center Aug. 6;
  • Tour de Elvis/Food Truck Friday Sept. 9-10;
  • Falcons Nite Out Sept. 30;
  • Cycle NC Oct. 5-6;
  • Autumn Extravaganza Oct. 27-29;
  • Small Business Saturday Nov. 26;
  • An Albemarle Christmas from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 2;
  • Albemarle Christmas Parade at 4 p.m. Dec. 10;
  • Holiday Tour of Homes Dec. 11.