Marketing and promoting the Downtown to attract new businesses, retain existing quality businesses that meet the goals of the Plan, and advertise Downtown services, businesses and events, are key components to a successful Downtown.
The City Council approved retaining a retail recruitment firm in January, 1999 in an effort to place new highly desirable retail businesses in selected key locations Downtown. However, priorities were shifted and the $35,000 approved in the 1998/1999 budget year from the General Fund was reallocated to the Downtown Events programming. Additional funds of $14,500 were allocated in the 1999/2000 budget year, and $10,000 of this was recently reallocated to the Downtown Food and Music festival (discussed above) and the balance will be used for banners to promote the farmers market. It is anticipated that in the 2000/2001budget year, additional funds of approximately $20,000 will be requested for retail recruitment. The firm selected will have to have proven success in placing businesses as part of successful downtown revitalization programs, and work closely with Downtown property owners.
Promotional materials prepared and distributed by the City include a Downtown Map with Points of Interest. This map was developed originally in 1998 and is regularly distributed to the Chamber of Commerce, area hotels, City Hall, Public Library, Downtown businesses, and new companies in town. The map provides general information about the Downtown and is keyed to a list of retail and restaurant uses in the Downtown. This map should be updated as part of the Downtown revitalization effort to ensure that it provides up to date and accurate information.
Another promotional program is the installation of banner poles, banners, and flags on Sepulveda Boulevard, a State highway with approximately 70,000 vehicle trips per day, to publicize City Events and promote the Downtown. Two types of banners are envisioned. The first would use the existing median light poles to install flags (approximately 3 feet by 8 feet) to publicize community events. There are 35 existing light poles on Sepulveda, which could accommodate two flags each, located on each side of the pole. The second type of banners would require the installation of two banner poles, with mounting hardware and cables at each location. Banners would be approximately 3 feet wide by 40 feet long and would hang over the middle of Sepulveda Boulevard. Installation and removal of the flags or banners would be an additional cost of approximately $400 for each set of flags or banners for each installation and removal.
In February of 2000, the City Council approved re-allocating $60,000 from the City "welcome monument" project, previously approved in the 1999/2000 Capital Improvement Program budget, to the banner project. The $60,000 includes the installation of the banner poles only, (four poles at two locations) not the banners. General fund monies of $4,500 are available for banners (Downtown marketing materials) and it is anticipated that this will be used for one large (3-foot by 40-foot) banner to advertise the Downtown Farmers Market. Other Farmers Market advertising which has been used, that could also be used for other efforts, includes cable television advertising in nearby communities, advertisements in area newspapers, and advertisements on internal e-mail networks for major corporations located in El Segundo. Any additional funds remaining from the banners will be used to promote other Downtown events. It is anticipated that the City Council will review a request for additional funds for other banners in the near future. In addition, it is anticipated that event sponsors and coordinators would pay to install banners to promote their individual events.
Other types of marketing could include advertisements, flyers, billboards, or other promotional materials.
A lunchtime shuttle to bring employees from the business center of El Segundo, west of Sepulveda Boulevard, to the Downtown has been explored in the past and could be analyzed further if desired. The Chamber of Commerce and a BID could also be involved with promoting and advertising the Downtown.