By A.C. Hall
The Benbrook City Council got a look at the “building a better Benbrook Boulevard” campaign this month as Lydia Rickard of L Comm Marketing and Public Relations gave them a presentation. Started by the Benbrook Economic Development Corporation several months ago, this campaign seeks to keep citizens and businesses in and around Benbrook well informed and up to date on things as the two year Benbrook Boulevard/377 expansion begins later this year.
“It’s important that we create awareness that business is still open and will continue to be open and that this is a great place to come and do business,” Rickard said.
Rickard and her company have been working with the EDC for nine months on the program that will look to sustain businesses along Benbrook Boulevard during the construction and help minimize loss. Some of the major objectives discussed were to raise awareness that businesses were still open and how to get to them, and also to keep the flow of communication and information open to those working, shopping, and travelling down Benbrook Boulevard during the construction.
The campaign is getting businesses along Benbrook Boulevard to participate in the program, with over 30 of the reported 98 businesses in that corridor already signed up at no cost.
Council member Ron Sauma asked Rickard why the enrollment was so low.
“When you have programs like this, you’re not going to have one hundred percent participation,” Rickard said.
Rickard also said that since the construction hasn’t started yet, it’s not impacting the businesses and isn’t seen as a problem to them yet. She went on to add that of the 98 businesses in question, not all of them are stores and restaurants, and some might not rely on foot traffic as much and so aren’t as concerned about the upcoming traffic issues.
Council member Jim Wilson also commented on the campaign, saying that the end result of the construction was going to be a great improvement but that didn’t mean it was going to be easy for the area when the work was happening.
“Obviously it’s going to be a difficult time,” Wilson said.
He stated that he was very pleased with this campaign, and that it fulfilled a side of the EDC as they work to not only bring in new businesses, but also to maintain and help those that are already here. Wilson also addressed citizens who may wish to avoid shopping and eating along Benbrook Boulevard during the construction, saying that if they don’t use the businesses in the area during the construction, they might not be open once the construction is done.
Keeping not only businesses and shoppers informed, but also citizens in general informed was also discussed. Rickard spoke of holding town hall meetings and utilizing social media so they could keep the citizens up to date on the latest happenings along Benbrook Boulevard.
Council member Charlie Anderson suggested getting a list of homeowners meetings and making the “building a better Benbrook Boulevard” presentation there.
“Tell them why this is a good deal for them to keep up with,” Anderson said.
Anderson also congratulated the EDC for running this campaign.
“I think it’s badly needed,” Anderson said.
More information on this campaign can be found at benbrookboulevard.com.