Top 10 Reasons Your Donation to HOB Will Make a Difference
1. We bring jobs.
We attract and help retain businesses in Biddeford, and inspire entrepreneurs to start-up here. 18 of the businesses that opened in downtown Biddeford since 2012 have brought more than 100 total jobs.
2. We draw new businesses.
We walk prospective business owners through the start-up process, and keep a database of existing properties. Great new businesses started up through the successful Main Street Challenge and Main Street Challenge Encore programs. The downtown vacancy rate has dropped 37% since 2012.
3. We actively support existing businesses.
We host events that draw people downtown, facilitate a Main Street Makeover grant program, provide free marketing in the newsletter, and produce a free downtown map. We also host the monthly Donut Club and Entrepreneurs Group. Many downtown events encourage participants to shop locally.
4. We get the word out about Biddeford.
Our newsletter is sent to 2,000 people each week. Active social media campaigns reach new people each week. We advertise through radio, television, print, and Amtrak events.
5. We make downtown more attractive.
Our Adopt-a-Park Program, planters program, and park clean-ups make downtown more family-friendly. Last year, we helped eight property and business owners improve their storefronts/signage through the Main Street Makeover program and a grant offered through HOB.
6. We help the city accomplish its goals.
We help ensure completion of the goals in the community-created Downtown Master Plan. We actively publicize downtown construction through our #SeeingOrange project. We also support City projects like WinterFest and the Two Cities: One River dedication.
7. We build pride in our community.
We organize the Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades, support the Biddeford Mills Museum, add lighting to the downtown for the holidays, beautify the urban core, and host free events that draw us together (such as the Downtown Holiday Festival, Downtown Halloween, and Music in the Park).
8. We help draw and engage new residents.
New residents are being attracted to downtown Biddeford because Heart of Biddeford, Engine, and many of the businesses host events. There are 260 new residents in new housing in the downtown area since 2013. These are people who spend their money locally!
9. We are part of Biddeford’s big picture.
A bustling downtown is part of what draws businesses to Maine because business owners want to make Maine’s high quality of life available to their employees. When downtown properties are occupied, they bring higher taxes to the City, which helps everybody’s bottom line. We actively work to promote collaboration with Saco, which leads to more opportunities for all in both communities.
10. We engage our community.
Each year, 300 volunteers give their time to help revitalize our downtown. The 3000 hours they invest makes a big difference for the community. This year, we have an Americorp Vista member working in HOB who is pairing job-seekers with volunteer opportunities that match their job interests.