Alton Main Street will host an information exchange on Thursday, February 9th called “What’s Up Downtown”, at the Jacoby Arts Center (627 E. Broadway) from 5:30-7:00 p.m.  This is the opportunity for Alton stakeholders to interact and present their input as momentum builds to implement a comprehensive community revitalization plan.

“What’s Up Downtown” consist of updates from the organization, City Hall, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as an open forum where property and business owners will be invited to share their ideas, news and developments.  These events occur seasonally and also provide networking opportunities for everyone in attendance.

“Increasing communication between local businesses, government, and community partners is one of the basic tenets of economic gardening, which is a “grow your own” business model that we are supporting in our community,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street, “The Downtown, North Alton, and Upper Alton business groups are collaborating and delivering the message to our memberships of how important it is to influence community growth.”

Another collaborative effort is their series of “Brown Bag Networking Luncheons” which encourages business to business interaction and commerce. These events are designed as casual meetings for business people to increase their knowledge about the goods and services available through local companies, and discuss current events relevant to the growth & prosperity of the Alton community.

Presented by Alton Main Street, the North Alton-Godfrey Business Council and the Upper Alton Association, the “Brown Bag Networking Luncheon” events are held in local businesses and community gathering spaces where attendees bring lunch with complimentary beverages provided. There is no cost to attend and no set agenda; guests choose from a variety of suggested discussion points and can come and go freely between the hours of 11:30 to 1:00pm.

During your lunch hour you can distribute information about your business, learn about the progress happening in the public and private sectors, and make connections with others to collaborate and cross-promote,” said Tanja Moneyhun, President of the Upper Alton Association.

Upcoming dates and locations for Brown Bag Networking Luncheons are Thursday,  February 23rd at Advanced Wellness Chiropractic and Functional Rehab (231 E. Delmar), and Thursday, March 15th at Saint Clare’s Professional Building (815 E. Fifth St.).

Next in the “What’s Up Downtown” series will be the Spring session on May 10th, Summer is Aug 9th, and Fall is Nov 8th. The first of these events occurred last fall, and 23 people were in attendance including City officials, developers, and business leaders.  Refreshments are provided.

If you would like to host a luncheon, please call 463-1016 or email for details.

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