New ways to attract businesses and retail to downtown Dadeville were offered by Matthew Petro to the Dadeville City Council on Tuesday.
Retail Strategies, a company based in Birmingham, looks at small cities and how to expand businesses.
“We were created to be a kind of train for communities like this one and expanding businesses to help you tell your story and attract businesses to this town that have a rising tide effect, meaning we don’t cannibalize any businesses that are currently here,” Petro said. “We’re attracting new businesses and services to increase the amount of consumers coming to this marketplace leaving their dollars and getting new tax dollars to use and do great things for the community.”
Petro sits down with leaders and tries to identify the potential and desire for growth.
“Essentially one of the bread and butter things we do is analysis of the markets,” Petro said. “So it’s looking at your trade — where consumers are coming from to shop and eat and defining area, how to recruit and keep people local.”
The company identifies what the town is doing today and needs to do for 12 to 18 months to recruit new businesses.
“Once we identify who those businesses are we then have to identify which real estate they occupy,” Petro said. “So we look for strategic and underutilized properties to place these retailers.”
Petro tried to argue a grocery store wasn’t essential, but most of the city council members interrupted him and said the city needs one.
“Communities invest in us to get answers and sometimes those answers are nothing,” Petro said. “That’s a good thing because it’s one less thing that you’re working on that’s not going to get (over looked).”
No action was taken on the presentation.
In other action, the city council:
• Was introduced to new Dadeville police officers Colton Ankers and Kalie Abbett at the pre-council meeting.
• Was reminded of the 2020 census by Mayor Wayne Smith. There are opportunities for employment with the census, he said.
• Heard from citizen Tasheba Jefferson about zoning for her daycare business on Adams Street. Jefferson was previously told she could not run her daycare because she wasn’t in the right zone and when she asked where she could run, she was told by the city it didn’t know.
• Unanimously approved the placing of fairy doors and scarecrows in Keebler Park. Fairy doors are miniature doors left around trees as an art installation.
• Opened the sealed bids for surplus property.
• Appointed citizen Sue Gulledge to fill in for city clerk Debbie Minor on Aug. 27.
• Went into executive session for an hour and 10 minutes to discuss a city employee’s good name and character.
• Paid bills.