Monday, June 20, 2011

Downtown Mesa Association - I Have Some Question????

First off let me say I think Mesa Arizona's downtown is headed in the right direction, with that though I have some questions I would like answered.

Recently I attended a Mesa City Council meeting, the Downtown Mesa Association's was asking for a 3% decrease in the tax they charge business and property owners in the downtown area. The council granted their request but I was not impress with the information I received. Basically David Short the executive director of the association got up and said they want to give the businesses a break and stimulate the area and they could still continue to do that the decrease.

Good Right? I'm not so sure.

The few dollars that each business would save each and every month would have been better left with the DMA and earmarked for promotions and marketing, no salaries.

Next the association has revamped their website and I recommend that you take a look at it at I like the brightness and colors of the site and I think it is a move in the right direction. That being said I'm a little disappointed in the association and the direction they have gone on some fronts.

To develop the website they used a company by the name of Local Thunder located in outside of Mesa and outside of Arizona. The company is located in Portland, Maine, clear across the country.

  1.  I thought the Downtown Mesa Association was to promote business in Mesa and the downtown area?
  2. Is there not a web developer in the Mesa and the downtown area that could have built the new website keeping the money locally and supporting local businesses?
The purpose of the website is to promote the downtown area but in order for a downtown business to be listed on the site and be promoted the business must pay a monthly fee of $80, that is just under $1,000 a year. That brings me back to the first part of my post about the 3% tax decrease.

  1. Why didn't the DMA just keep the 3% tax in place and just offer the service to the businesses for free?
This is just another example of how the DMA, driven by property owners hasn't had the interest of the merchants at heart. It is this attitude that has lead the merchants to distrust the DMA in the first place leading to the hard feelings and the possibility of gathering signatures to repeal the downtown tax all together. The tax has to be re-authorized next year.

If you are a business owner looking to cooperate with other business owners in the downtown area give me a call. I have an idea that would be more cost effective and if done right could bring the same or better results and I believe at a lower rate than what DMA is offering. I contact me at matttolman01 (at) for details.

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