Albemarle residents encouraged to complete survey for how best to improve downtown

To help the city identify what is needed for the comprehensive Downtown Albemarle strategic plan, business owners and other residents are encouraged to complete an anonymous community input survey.

The survey, which will be available to the public through May 31, asks a variety of questions, including how often people typically shop downtown, what words they associate with the area, what businesses they would like to see that are not present and whether they feel downtown is headed in the right direction.

The feedback will aid Downtown Strategies, a division of the Alabama-based marketing firm Retail Strategies, as it works with the city to finalize the strategic plan for improving the downtown, which is expected to go before city council for approval in June. Downtown Strategies has been working with the city and Electricities since last fall, during which times its held workshops with the public and talked with numerous business owners.

Survey results will be provided to the public once the strategic plan is completed and released.

In addition to the survey, Keith Tunnell, Albemarle’s economic development director, and Joy Almond, Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation director, held two public input sessions last Tuesday with business owners and other stakeholders to hear what suggestions they had for improving the downtown. Some of the ideas included finding more ways to appeal to Pfeiffer University students, appealing to more diverse business owners, and promoting festivals and events to people outside Stanly, including Concord and Charlotte.