Candy Rhoades / Main Street Manager
The Main Street Program in Royston is to help promote the historic downtown area and enhance the community through the guidelines of the four point approach of organization, design, economic restructuring and promotion.
The Royston Main Street Program / DDA are here to assist. A city rich in history and committed to our businesses, citizens and overall growth for now and the future is our purpose. We are proud to call Royston home and we want to continue making it a great place to live, work and play. We want growth but also want to keep the quaint small town feel but have our doors open for new businesses and housing that fits our community. We work to help keep the historic buildings in the downtown area a focus on the original structure. Our main goal is quality from buildings to events.
The baseball fields opened and we are looking forward to people coming to Royston to utilize these fields and making an economic impact on our town.
Two major grants have been awarded but the funds have not been released. One project is Phase III Street Scape and the second is our historic Depot. We are hopeful funds will be released in 2015 and possible construction could begin this year. At this time, we are waiting for funds to be released and open for bids.
The Mayor and Council are supportive of the Main Street Program and DDA. This has been shown by an increased in funds and taking the lead to get a new and improved website. Our citizens in the community are supportive of what has happened but we need to let them know it takes time and many hours to accomplish our goals. We work to remain focused on the positive.
The Main Street Program /DDA will be working on the Four Points of the Program. We will continue to enhance our Historic Preservation.
Main Street Manager and DDA Chair reviewed the 2015-2016 DDA Budget and it was submitted to the City in January 2015.
Main Street Manager submitted two grants for assistance to the DDA.
The grants are for Rack Cards and Website Funding assistance in January. The MSM hopes to receive information soon.
A huge benefit for Royston is the website being completely redone by a professional firm and the City responding when asked for assistance from Council for the DDA’s website. The DDA will be responsible for a portion of the funding. We believe this will make a difference for our town.
A community Town Hall Meeting/Planning Session needs to be held this year. This will be coordinated with the City.
Façade Grant Award – the Main Street Manager offered assistance to those receiving the grant from DCA Design Studio. In 2014, we did not utilize their service as in years past. The guidelines for the grant have been updated in 2015 and four applications to date have been provided to potential awards. We look forward to others making improvements and utilizing the grant funds. A budget was set and will be followed for this year. Façade Grant Budget for 2015 is $2,800.00
Main Street Manager, Ryan Swails, Jan Bowen and Larry Bowen review Façade Applications before presented at DDA Board Meeting. We have asked our City Code Enforcement to review the grant application also.
Main Street Manager talked with Design Studio in January and informed them we are continuing to promote their assistance for property owners.
Main Street Manager leads the effort in economic development but all of the DDA Board will be taking an active role to help enhance the growth. Main Street Manager has updated the building information and has available when needed and as she prepares information for prospects. Main Street Manager often shows property and connects owner and prospect. Main Street Manager has continued to encourage property owners to make people aware their property is for sale or lease and not unknown of the status. Many visit the town when we are not there and it is important to make known by signs in windows so people know status of vacant building. Main Street Manager has contacted property owners to “encourage” them to dress-up their windows. It is important for the town as we work to market Royston and bring new business while being thankful for our current businesses.
The program works with current business owners to help by making them aware of finance programs, happenings in town, tips to help get business and reminds often of customer service and the importance of this. It can often make or break the business. Ribbon Cuttings are hosted by program and something that many continue to say is they really enjoy the Weekly-E-mails…with news and updates of town.
Weekly E-mails – News and Updates
We work to have quality events. The events are a major factor in helping generate economic income and promote our town by bringing visitors to Royston. This also promotes historic preservation and education as they visit the town and see the beautiful historic buildings and the inviting doors of our businesses and friendly small town feel. We often have activities for children.
Events: Seasonal events bring economic income to our town. The hours of planning and working the event is a huge boost for our City as many come to spend time in Royston. The Shop Royston / Shop Local is an ongoing promotion to remind citizens to spend their dollars at home and enjoy the benefits from the dollars spent by visitors in our town.
Lauren Boleman, Student, will be assisting with the Economic Point. The City Manager and Council will assist as needed by Main Street Manager.
The 2015 Scheduled Events:
Easter Egg Hunt
Co-sponsored by VFW, Shriners, Mason, Main Street/DDA, Brown Rehabilitation, Pharma-Tech
Hundreds of children and parents attend this event as it has been ongoing for almost 30 years.
Budget - $1,800
Advertising, people to town, park utilized, trophies awarded, door prizes from businesses
MSM, Board, Volunteers, Council assist at this event. Pharma Tech helps with sponsorship.
Board Members each collect two or more good door prizes for show
Budget - $700
June to September – Historic Depot Site of Market
Farmers receive letters to participate, signage, applications prepared, MSM visits with farmers each week. We are promoting Georgia Grown.
Budget - $200
This is the largest of our events and brings 5,000 people to Royston for the day and evening. We begin the day at 5:30 a.m. and conclude around 12:30 a.m. It requires hours of planning and set-up and take down. An event people look forward to those mouth-watering funnel cakes, polish sausage, turkey legs, fried oreos and the crafts available and music throughout day but the grand finale of evening band and fireworks…a day you do not want to miss. A Laser Show will follow the fireworks with the night ending with a few songs from our band.
Halloween in Royston
Co-sponsored by VFW, Shriners, Masons, Main Street/DDA
MSM, Volunteers and City assist
This happening brings around 800 to our town for this special event. Many come to see the children dressed in their favorite costume character or a unique outfit that is cute and clever.
Budget - $800
An event that has grown and we are proud to host as this begins holiday season in Royston. Music, train rides, bouncy slide, Christmas Readings, and the lighting of Royston’s official tree. The area is beautifully decorated and many come to enjoy this special evening. Also, downtown we have a huge Christmas decoration that is changed daily with the countdown to Christmas. Our downtown area is lighted and festive along with decorations city-wide. These are enjoyed by thousands during this special time of year. We have sponsors that help cover the cost of this event. Main Street Manager leads effort with Maintenance and Police Department assist at event and volunteers are present at the event to assist.
Budget - $600
Thousands come to enjoy our parade…it is a huge event for us. The visitors love the entries and all the candy given out that afternoon. This year MSM was informed by a GMA staff member, they were in town and saw our parade and noted…it was great…they were amazed at how good it was. A comment we greatly appreciate as we were not aware of their attendance until after event. Our Maintenance and Police Department assist greatly with this event along with volunteers.
Budget - $4,000
Christmas in Royston
This is our final event of the year and we offer complimentary carriage rides that many enjoy around the historic downtown area. Our town is beautiful with lights, decorations, holiday window painting and the Elf’s in Royston…the music is also a highlight of this event…our shops are open late to attract those still wishing to Christmas Shop. A time the community comes together to help celebrate Christmas in Royston. Sponsors assist with cost of this event. Also, Maintenance and Police Department assist at this event.
Budget - $700
Holiday Window Painting
Artist is contracted and does a fabulous job for us.
Businesses pay a fee for the painting and to be included in holiday advertising.
Main Street Manager coordinates this project.
Budget - $300 (advertising)
Elf’s in Royston
We had fun with the Elf’s in Royston again this year. There is no fee to participate…we offer First Place – Best Overall and Second Place – Most Creative. Gifts are awarded to the winners. It is wonderful to see the participation and how unique some of the elves are. Main Street Manager coordinates this project. Judges from outside area judge the entries.
Budget - $400
All of the above events contribute to our economic growth and promotion of our historic community.
We work to have quality events. The budgets could change on events as the Main Street, DDA and sponsors help fund these happenings.
Promotion assistance…Maintenance/Street Department, Police Department, Harold Rhoades, Darryl Ayers, Lauren Boleman, Shirley Rosenberg, VFW, Shriners, and Mason Members. There may be others as promotions take place.
Mentoring High School Student – she is learning about the Main Street Program and Four Point Approach and much about the history of Royston, Depot, Street Scape, Façade Grants, and Buildings as well as the high importance of customer service on the telephone and in person. We are also working on organization and completing schedules and tasks. All of her time is volunteer hours.
The Farmer’s Market is held at the Depot area on Railroad Street Thursday mornings for four months. Farmers and customers all get to enjoy this historic area. We are promoting locally grown.
Ty Cobb Museum is a huge part of our history. Mr. Cobb was the first in Baseball Hall of Fame. His batting average has not been broken to date. This brings people of all ages to tour the Museum and his burial site at our historic cemetery. We work to help promote the Museum as a major historical factor for Royston.
City Cemetery is historic and people come to visit as they attend a service, work on family history but many come to see the historic cemetery that is so well maintained and the markers from years ago.
Walking / Driving Flyer has been useful as people stop to get information and take to view the early and todays view of the historic property.
Back to School Bash for Children is held downtown at historic Depot in August. This brings approximately 1,500 to this event as book bags and snacks are given to children as they are beginning the new school year. Music is provided at the event along with haircut and an area for those needing clothing. The Georgia Mountains Regional Commission is on hand to help parents and grandparents with job search and resume building. An effort by the community reaching out to hundreds…this is giving back and done in the historic area as we encourage education. This project is led by the Royston Housing Authority with help from Police Department and Main Street Program.
Royston is a small town with a limited budget and works to make our Four Point Approach successful as our hearts are in this community we all call home. We will continue to be committed to our town and the program.
Current Board Members –
Darryl Ayers, Jan Bowen, Larry Bowen, Kenneth Roach, Shirley Rosenberg and Ryan Swails work to assist program.
Lauren Boleman, Kevin McFarlin, Harold Rhoades, Bill King, Juanita King, Sadina Moon and Members of VFW, Shriners and Mason assist. We have great support from Mayor, Council and City Manager. The majority of citizens are pleased with what is taking place in our community.
The Street/Maintenance Department and Police Department give many hours during the year to the program.
They support, attend and help with set-up at the largest event in the fall.
The DDA meets the First Friday of each Month unless a holiday at the Roystonian Restaurant 8:00 a.m. The meeting dates are posted at the Main Street Office.