As I’ve talked about in several articles over the last year, our Main Street program is here to serve our merchants and improve our city, county, and region-at-large, build local pride, and foster investment. Our job is to search out grants and private funding, find ways to direct that investment toward downtown, and develop projects that benefit the community, raise our standard of living, and support the local economy. And of course, anything that creates jobs or spending in Point Pleasant will lead to jobs and spending in Gallipolis, and increased tourism in Point Pleasant and Gallipolis will spill over into the Bend Area, and vice-versa.
Yet, those grants and private funds are typically for a specific project, like the Riverfront Park. Not a single penny goes into Main Street Point Pleasant’s operating budget, so we have to find creative ways to fund the program and match these state and federal grants. Thankfully, an annual appropriation from the City and donations from the Krodel Festival of Lights help keep the doors open, but they don’t leave any room to expand our services, support workshops and seminars for businesses, or match major grants and invest in downtown.
Way back, when Main Street Point Pleasant first opened in 1988, there was a membership program. People were involved in our downtown and genuinely wanted to help it succeed, and Main Street led seminars and workshops for business owners and worked with corporate partners to offer historic facade grants for downtown businesses. But, priorities changed, and major projects like the Riverfront Park pushed membership programs aside.
Now, we’re of the opinion that we can, and should, have both. We need major infrastructure projects, like the upcoming construction of a new Waterfront Farmers Market, to stimulate investment and bring new traffic downtown. But, we also need events and advertising and workshops and seminars and facade grants and all of the other little things that make both businesses and a Main Street program successful. That is why we’re rolling out this membership and partnership program.
Anyone interested in joining Main Street Point Pleasant can see me at our office at 305 Main Street, email me at email@example.com, or download and mail in the membership form found on our redesigned website (pointpleasantwv.org). To join, an individual membership is $25, a non-profit or organization membership is $30, and a business membership is $50, and in joining, members will receive our quarterly newsletter, Main Street Point Pleasant swag, and access to early registration for any Main Street seminars and workshops.
Additionally, corporations (or individuals!) may also join Main Street Point Pleasant as partners. Six partnership levels are available, each named after a famous frontiersperson from our area, having their own unique perks, and including the perks of lower levels.
Partners at the Lewis & Clark level ($100) receive the regular membership benefits plus recognition on our website and social media.
At the George Washington level ($250), partners receive the benefits of the Lewis & Clark level plus a free ticket to a Main Street event, such as the Sleighbell Ball or one of our workshops.
Joining as a partner at the Daniel Boone level ($500) includes the previous benefits plus another free ticket to a Main Street event.
Ann Bailey partners ($1,000) receive the previous benefits, another free event ticket, and they are listed as a supporting sponsor of a Main Street event.
Partners at the Chief Cornstalk level ($2,500) get the previous benefits, a fourth free event ticket and are listed as a major sponsor for one of our Main Street events.
And last, but certainly not least, partners at the Andrew Lewis level ($5,000) are entitled to the regular membership benefits, recognition on our website and social media, five free tickets to a Main Street event, a listing as a major sponsor at one of our events, and access to premier advertisement space on Main Street publications, at Main Street events, and on the soon-to-be installed downtown kiosks.
…Did I mention that these membership dues and partnerships can be tax-deductible? Your accountant or tax preparation service will know the specifics relating to 501(c)(3) non-profit memberships and partnerships.
There is strength in numbers, and with your support, Main Street Point Pleasant can continue its long record of community leadership and proven results.
Chris Rizer is the president of the Mason County Historical & Preservation Society and director of Main Street Point Pleasant, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.