A professional project manager – Cynthia K. Jaggi, Managing Partner of Economic Development Partners (EDP), has been hired to lead this initiative. Please see the EDP website at www.edpwi.com to learn about Ms. Jaggi and this organization.
Deirdre Garton, owner of Quivey’s Grove, and Toni Prestigiacomo, commercial real estate owner of a property located at Verona Road and Williamsburg Way, determined the need to organize the VRBC. As business professionals concerned with the continued vitality and future of the Verona Road corridor, they are volunteering their time and energy to spearhead this effort.
It was decided that dividing the Verona Road corridor into nine sections, or ’blocks’ of merchants, would more effectively coordinate efforts and initiatives as construction progresses over the five-year period. To date, individuals have agreed to serve as “block captains” to coordinate advocacy efforts and facilitate communication in each division.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has also assigned a project manager to help coordinate communication, and share tips and marketing ideas for your business as the construction continues. This program is called “In This Together.” WisDOT has developed the Verona Road Business Resource Tool Kit specific for the Verona Road corridor. You can view and download the tool kit at http://projects.511wi.gov/documents/34048/af3010b0-e324-473d-a047-1afc0101a87b or you can visit or subscribe to the DOT website at veronaroadproject.wi.gov for construction information and updates.
Both the City of Fitchburg and the Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce are involved in supporting the efforts of the VRBC, and are providing links to their respective websites to share information and enhance communication. Efforts are underway to engage the cities of Madison and Verona as well.
A new VRBC website is currently in development at http://www.veronaroad.info. It will be a marketing tool for the coalition and provide timely updates along with any other information important to businesses and commuters - posting WisDOT project updates, schedules, potential traffic impacts and alternative routes as the construction progresses. It will also be a Marketing vehicle for the businesses being impacted along the corridor to promote their businesses.
Visit us on the Verona Road Business Coalition Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Verona-Road-Business-Coalition/719505184764117 for construction project updates, business promotions, and use it to keep your customers informed and engaged during the project.
Cindy Jaggi, VRBC project manager and VRBC volunteers will be making personal contacts to all corridor businesses to discuss individual business concerns. An electronic Business survey was distributed in November, 2014 to determine and gauge the impact on Verona Road businesses and future concerns the VRBC can assist with to minimize the construction impact. The Business Survey results and needs assessments will be used as the ‘foundation’ for the comprehensive VRBC Business and Marketing Plan that will be shared with the collective group in early 2015.
The Fitchburg Star, official newspaper used by the City of Fitchburg, will be publishing updates and information on a regular basis.
Along with the VRBC website, be sure to visit the Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce website and the City of Fitchburg website to get the most comprehensive and current network of information.
The leadership of the VRBC will be scheduling regular meetings to share, discuss and address any concerns.
The VRBC has planned regular meetings with WisDOT to better share information and disseminate it on a timely basis.
Digital construction maps will be shared and communicated to businesses on the VRBC website, so they can share alternative routes with customers and suppliers.
A comprehensive social media plan will include Facebook and Twitter updates for businesses and commuters for up-to-date developments.
FACTv will include monthly updates in their programming. They will also include features about individual businesses for specific promotions, alternative access routes and events.
Public relations with mass media and the general public will be ongoing.
Regular communication with neighborhood organizations and merchant groups will foster further information sharing, event planning and promotions.
Become a sponsor of the VRBC.
Be sure to complete the business needs assessment surveys.
Volunteer to join block committees.
Help create and sponsor merchant events.
Participate in events, promotions and be sure to attend and contribute to meetings.
Keep your customers and vendors informed prior to and during construction.
Promote and market the VRBC corridor using the VRBC brand – ‘Stay with Us’ – Let the public and your customers know that you’re open for business!
Extend social media audiences by sharing Facebook posts, tweets, event invites, etc. that are appropriate to your customers
Volunteer staff participation and expertise. We will need professional support in several areas, including public relations, graphic arts, event coordination/planning, ongoing media communication and information sharing, social media, participation recruitment, and other areas yet to be determined. If your business has talented staff members who would enjoy being part of this important coalition, please support their participation.
And, most importantly, make recommendations! Get involved and ’Stay with Us.’ Help us help you!
Contact your block captain and attend upcoming meetings. Block captains will be posted on the VRBC website. Answer calls from the VRBC and contribute what you can. Watch for updates and the upcoming launch of the VRBC website. We look forward to working together!