Ed! Working to ensure downtown stays prosperous | Guest View
Last updated 1/23/2020 at 9am
2019 was a busy year in Edmonds, and for the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!).
Presiding over the member advisory board this year has been a humbling and extremely fulfilling experience; I have gotten to engage with a number of our more than 350 member business owners, and while they have a wide variety of viewpoints, they, like myself, are all extremely passionate about our community.
This passion underscores the importance to me of what we do at Ed! – being responsible stewards of the funding our members provide in order to create and execute projects that ensure our downtown stays lively, attractive and prosperous.
I spoke recently with Mary Kay Sneeringer, owner of the Edmonds Bookshop, and she summed it up:
"I just got my assessment notice in the mail and was reminded how a small investment goes such a long way," she said.
"By pooling assets, we get a professional social media campaign to remind people to come to downtown Edmonds, a website presence, a talented photographer whose photos we can use, courtesy umbrellas, and parking solutions, to name just a few of the benefits of Ed!"
Here's a look at how some of those benefits came to be in 2019.
Edmonds was bustling during the holidays with a variety of family activities, including the annual Holiday Trolley. Sponsored by Ed! members Comstock Jewelers, HouseWares, Rick Steves' Europe, and Walnut Street Coffee, the Holiday Trolley was more popular than ever in 2019.
After playing an instrumental role in finding a new trolley this year, Ed! managed the trolley and partnered with the city of Edmonds to promote all Edmonds Holidays activities.
Marketing for downtown Edmonds
Bringing more people into downtown Edmonds to do business locally is a key goal of Ed! throughout the year. In addition to promoting Edmonds Holidays, we continually feature all that downtown has to offer in online articles twice per month at EdmondsDowntown.org.
These feature articles are promoted via social media, digital advertising, and more.
Last year Ed! ads were seen over 4.4 million times across all platforms – that is, 4.4 million sets of eyes that got the opportunity to learn about our business community, and 4.4 million opportunities for us to show local people what makes downtown Edmonds so special.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how we are doing this, and give us your feedback.
After-hours parking signage
While we are lucky to have an abundance of free parking downtown, Ed! is continually looking for creative ways to add more parking.
Ed! began the after-hours parking signage program in 2018, and there are now four clearly signed lots providing 100 additional spots to use after business hours. Our community partners in this program include US Bank, Washington Federal, Sound Credit Union, and Bank of America.
The famous bright green umbrellas got a new "Love, Edmonds" design theme this year, and they are still a welcome sight when the rain begins! There are more than 40 locations in downtown where you can grab an umbrella, then drop it off in a stand when you're done for someone else to use.
You may have noticed a new creative crosswalk on Second and Main. The fun, nautical design adds to the unique look and feel of Edmonds, while also making the crosswalk more visible to help with pedestrian safety.
Another crosswalk is installed at Fifth Avenue South and Howell Way.
Ed! provides small grants to members for qualifying projects that benefit the downtown community. In 2019, recipients included Mural Project Edmonds to help fund the mural "Floatlines" at 313 Main St., and Edmonds Bookshop to produce the "Where's Waldo in Edmonds" passports.
Our volunteer advisory board currently has eight members:
Matt McCulloch, president; Peoples Bank ([email protected])
Apple Catha, vice president; Apple Catha Massage ([email protected])
Jenny Shore, treasurer; The Wooden Spoon ([email protected])
Carol Sheldon, secretary; Carol Sheldon Hair Design ([email protected])
Mark VonGunten; Ten Gun Design ([email protected])
Cheryl Farrish; Certa Law Group ([email protected])
Pam Stuller; Walnut Street Coffee ([email protected])
Tracey Strom; Affinity Contemporary Dentistry ([email protected])
Carrie Hulbert, contract program manager ([email protected]).
All are welcome to attend our monthly advisory board meetings on the second Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Input from our members is essential and provides the basis for all our projects, so please join us and share your ideas.
Matt McCulloch is president of the Edmonds Downtown Alliance Advisory Board, and lead relationship manager at Peoples Bank.