Downtown group issues call for committee volunteers

Jessica Johnson Staff reporter

7 months 1 days 10 hours ago |1066 Views | | | Email | Print

Interested volunteers are invited to contact Mount Airy Downtown Inc. for the opportunity to join one of four committees, all with one goal in mind: supporting growth for the Mount Airy downtown district.

The Mount Airy Downtown Board is made up of volunteers, who, according to Downtown Coordinator Lizzie Morrison, “strive to brand downtown as the primary economic, cultural, and social center through organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.”

This type of investment into the town’s center can lead to more economic and job opportunities, expansion of tourism, as well as creating a sense of pride and excitement in citizens of Mount Airy and Surry County.

Individuals interested in volunteering for the Mount Airy Downtown committees may be business and non-profit leaders, city and county representatives, members of the media, and/or creative types who wish to help build culture and art for the community. “We want all types of people who are excited to shape the future of downtown,” Morrison explained.

For those interested in volunteering, but want to learn more about the Mount Airy Downtown group, the Ad Hoc Committee is the best choice, according to Morrison. This committee is made up of volunteers who want to understand the expectations of the MAD board, learn more about the demands involved, but members are not considered full, voting members of the board.

The Ad Hoc Committee will give MAD board members time to get to know the volunteers and help board members gauge their level of commitment, which will help in the future when selecting voting board members. These volunteers will attend board meetings, but will not vote.

For those already invested in becoming more involved with the future of Mount Airy Downtown, more in-depth and specific committees in need of volunteers include the Promotions Committee, Design Committee, and the Economic Restructuring Committee.

The Promotions Committee is responsible for assisting image development, retail and business promotions, special events, as well as brainstorming and implementing market strategies. This committee has a goal of marketing a “unified, quality image” of the downtown district as a “center of activities, goods, and services.”

Morrison said members of the Promotions Committee may help to plan and carry out promotions and special events, as well as track and monitor how effective the events are and the economic impact they have for the area.

Volunteers with an interest in art and design may choose to volunteer for the Design Committee, assisting businesses and property owners in the historic downtown district with advice when the time comes to make decisions about property improvements. This committee will serve as a “catalyst,” Morrison said, to improve the appearance and function of downtown.

Members of the Design Committee will work to educate merchants, property owners, and the general public about good design decisions, “within the context of historic preservation and the National main Street Center’s 4-Point Approach,” Morrison added. The design committee will also work with the city with any future changes in policies and ordinances for the downtown district.

Those with an economic interest may wish to volunteer for the Economic Restructuring Committee. Morrison said volunteers who join this committee will encourage “economic vitality within the context of historic preservation.” This group of volunteers will actively work to recruit “diverse and appealing small businesses,” and work to support and strengthen existing businesses. They will also identify ways to help develop “underutilized space” within downtown Mount Airy.

Morrison said Mount Airy Downtown will continue to work to recruit and retain businesses and make improvements to the downtown area, which includes “researching additional funding and resource opportunities,” marketing and promotion, and as a resource for information and assistance with “exterior facade design renderings” for a Facade Grant Program, which will offer “incentives to downtown property and businesses,” including federal and state tax credits.

Interested volunteers should contact Main Street Coordinator Lizzie Morrison at 786-4511 or email For more information about Mount Airy Downtown, visit

Reach Jessica Johnson at or 719-1933.


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