A new organization of local businesses was born just after the first of this year. The Fort Smith Downtown Business Association LLC, or FSDBA, brings together the development and promotion of local services, shopping, entertaining, and dining, along with the history and values of the community’s traditions.
The new association will serve as an extension for members to further market their businesses through use of the organization’s website (godowntownfs.com), calendar of events, member meetings and the ability to participate in and contribute to routine downtown events and activities. Members are encouraged to work collaboratively in order to drive volume into downtown Fort Smith which benefits businesses individually and the city as a whole.
“The FSDBA gives a platform for downtown business owners to create and share ideas, and to work together for the collective good of the downtown area,” said board member Libby Meyer. “The positive collaboration will benefit in the growth of downtown and encourage others to build their business, to work, live and embrace downtown.” Meyer is a financial advisor with Edward Jones located on North 2nd St.
First Tuesdays The association plans to initiate one of its events by kicking off First Tuesdays beginning on May 2 and running through Oct. 10. This event is an undertaking of FSDBA in collaboration with the Fort Smith Food Truck Association, River Valley Artisan Market, the Farmer’s Market and other participants.
“Tuesdays and Wednesdays bring the highest occupancy rate to the hotels, but there is little for our guests to do in downtown Fort Smith,” said board member Heather Sanders, general manager for Courtyard Marriott Downtown.
Downtown merchants, retailers, bars and restaurants will extend their business hours to remain open until 8 p.m. on First Tuesdays. This will promote Fort Smith among locals and visitors alike, allowing the public the opportunity to participate in and experience what the area has to offer.
The new organization will work with the Fort smith Chamber of Commerce, the CBID, 64/6 Downtown and the city administration to enrich and enhance downtown businesses, history , art, and culture, while also preserving the heritage of the town.
Memberships are open to individuals, businesses, and organizations both inside and outside Fort Smith. Go to godowntownfs.org for more information.
by Pam Kelly
Pam Kelly, Director to the Fort Smith Downtown Business Association, Co-Owner and Operating Manager of The Sound Room and Administrator of Western Arkansas Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Surgery Center. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.