PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
Box 129, 578 Brown Street, Wiarton, Ontario N0H 2T0 1-800-268-3838

“Four Points™” Leaders

Spruce the Bruce is modeled on the Main Street “Four Point Approach”™ which sees community revitalization as a product of Organization, Marketing & Promotion, Physical Design Improvements and Economic Restructuring.

All four of these points are critical to placing the downtown on a solid foundation, and improvements to the downtown can only succeed to the extent that each of these pillars is developed. If one aspect is lacking, it will hold up the rest of the downtown revitalization efforts. To ensure that each point receives the attention it needs, Spruce the Bruce recommends that each committee have a Leader for each of the four points. It is essential that these leaders work together to consider the requirements and implications of revitalization on their area of responsibility. While your municipal staff may be playing a key role in implementing each of these pillars, having some committee- level support and thinking can improve the footing of the program and help get things done.

Paisley Organization Leader (Sandra Blodgett – 519-353-6021, sandrablodgett@gmail.com )

Organization essentially consists of promoting the Spruce the Group initiative locally, recruiting people to support the initiative, and filling the purse with funds. Organizers should be well-connected to the community, should always be concerned with the following questions, and should note them as part of an annual review:

  • What is the long-term plan of the initiative, and how is it achieving milestones critical to the plan?
  • How is the leadership of the initiative functioning? Is there a suitable plan for succession in the event of committee member turnover?
  • To what extent is the initiative staff versus volunteer driven? Is this sustainable?
  • How does the committee respond to / resolve crises?
  • How well is the initiative known in the community? Organization includes making sure that stakeholders and media know what is going on with the initiative, and especially the successes that have resulted from the program.
  • What is the availability of funding for the initiative? Is there a shortfall? How come?

Paisley Marketing and Promotion Leader (Jennifer Harris, 519-353-4509 keylimecreative@gmail.com)

Promotions are about shining the spotlight on community assets that make people want to come downtown and participate in the commercial, cultural, and social centre of their community. Marketing and Promotion leaders need to:

  • Identify local assets Understand their ‘target’ market and who else is competing for this market and what competitors have to offer. This includes looking at demographic studies, surveys, and consumer information about trends / habits / projections.
  • Determine the downtown’s niche or unique appeal, within Bruce County and the region
  • Support retail promotions, special events, image campaigns, and marketing promotions aimed at bringing people downtown. This will include positioning the downtown, supporting the downtown brand and developing partnerships to implement promotional and brand development activities.
  • Support the implementation of the community identity in communications and web development etc.

Paisley Economic Development Leader (Chris Wilson,  ChrisWilson@vpi-inc.com)

The Economic Development lead works closely with the marketing and promotion lead to build the product. Where marketing leaders are working to position the downtown, the Economic Development Leader is working on priorities that might include:

  • Strengthen that position by estimating current vs. potential demand, evaluating the availability of key amenities, service and demand gaps.
  • Evaluate the current mix of available businesses
  • Support reviews and potential opening up of land use regulations to support a broader mixture of uses and support small-scale industry
  • Keep tabs on available properties within the downtown
  • Supporting merchant education
  • Support the implementation of the community identity in communications and web development etc.

Paisley Physical Design Leader (Mary Gail Johnston, mgj@eastlink.ca) 

Although many consider this to be the most popular and visible sign of downtown revitalization, Physical design is just one of the four pillars. The main Street program even cautions that too strong a focus on physical revitalization (especially of buildings) too early in the process can push up rents and end up
limiting the overall success of revitalization efforts. Nevertheless, Physical Design leaders need to:

  • Liaise with Public Works and other municipal departments to support physical design improvements in a range of new and replacement capital works projects and streetscapes.
  • Support committee work to review Spruce the Bruce physical improvements grants (if applicable)