Downtown Statesville Development Corporation Proposes Social Districts to City Council


At the August 1 Statesville City Council meeting, Downtown Statesville Staff Brittany Marlow, Executive Director, and Liz Petree, Community Engagement Manager, presented a proposal for the City Council to adopt an ordinance instituting a Social District as provided by the State House Bill 890.  Board of Directors Member and Downtown business owner, Joe Bondi, was also in attendance to give his view and support. **UPDATE:  The Social District Ordinance was passed at the September 19 City Council meeting. DSDC has begun the process to implement and have hopes of having the district in place by November.

A Social District will allow a patron to purchase an alcoholic beverage from an ABC permitted establishment and enjoy it on the sidewalks or in participating unpermitted businesses that are located within the district. One of the biggest complaints about retail businesses in downtown is that they do not stay open late enough in the evenings or have long enough hours on the weekends. This is a cyclical problem;  businesses aren't staying open because there’s not enough traffic, therefore people do not support downtown retail businesses because they are only open during typical working hours.  

The purpose of a Social District is to help create foot traffic and keep people downtown longer by allowing them to grab a glass of wine or cold beer in the afternoon and early evening and visit a few of their favorite shops.  By implementing the Social District, we hope to responsibly bring more vibrant hours to downtown, boost traffic and sales for our retail and restaurants and add an extra incentive to attract new businesses into our district.  Another driving factor is the desire to be competitive with the many surrounding communities who have already taken advantage of the benefits of a social district. DSDC believes that the creation of a Social District will be beneficial in all of these areas.
Further work is being done by DSDC staff and partners to move the social district ordinance process along. 

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