Downtown Partnership’s Second Hand
By LYNDON GERMAN
Feb 12, 2017, 16:03
STAFF PHOTOS/LYNDON GERMAN: Stacey Henderson, the new event and marketing coordinator.
HOPEWELL — The Hopewell Downtown Partnership is receiving help beyond its Director Evan Kaufman’s efforts. Stacey Henderson, the new event and marketing coordinator, will make her mark aiding local business get the word about Hopewell’s downtown to the public.
Henderson is a native of Hopewell, in fact she graduated from Hopewell High School. She went on to earn another degree at James Madison University in 2015. For Henderson, Hopewell looks a lot different than it did when she was a high school student.
“Growing up in Hopewell, I never really came downtown very much,” Henderson claimed. “I’ve been to Lisa’s Café a couple of times but still wasn’t really somewhere I thought to come as a teenager in high school. Once I could drive and could make my own decisions, it wasn’t really a thing.”
Years later, after visiting Hopewell and attending events like the Butts on Broadway, Henderson thought to herself, “Who puts these things on, ‘cause I want to do this!” Months later Henderson got her chance.
Henderson’s position is funded by a federal grant from the Cameron Foundation, according to Hopewell Downtown Partnership Director Evan Kaufman. The grant provides $30,000 for non-profit organizations like the Hopewell Downtown Partnership to expand and provide additional staff as needed. The grant will only be able to fund Henderson’s position for a year, so from January to December she’ll be putting in as much effort as possible. For Kaufman the help was duly needed.
“Running a nonprofit is tough because even though we’re growing as a nonprofit and a lot of things are developing, and deals are being made,” Kaufman said, “unlike a regular business as we grow we don’t make any money because we’re a nonprofit.”
This is part of the reason why Kaufman has asked for residents’ support by becoming monthly donors so that before the grant subsides, Kaufman will be able to keep her on in the future and possibly expand further.
For Kaufman, Henderson has been an exceptional part of their operation. As a Hopewell native she’s already in touch with the community but as an employee, Kaufman says she’s quick to catch anything you throw at her with her wit and engagement.
“What we’re trying to do now is to put downtown Hopewell at the forefront of people’s minds,” Henderson said during a short interview. “We want people to think, oh we can come down to eat or work out or buy furniture or clothing.”
Henderson’s effort can been seen in events like the State of the Downtown Address. By successfully promoting the event through social media and the press, at least 150 people filled the Guncotton Coffee Shop Art Gallery to learn about what’s happening downtown. But, Henderson’s work doesn’t stop there.
“Right now we’re in the planning stages for what events and retail promotions we’re having for the entire year,” she said.
The Hopewell Downtown partnership hopes to hold more events like the State of the Downtown Address and Butts on Broadway, but also smaller events that get customers shopping downtown right now.
“We want new ideas that people will be interested in, and bring them downtown so the more they come down here the more downtown’s going to be in their minds.”
These ideas appear to be working as Henderson claims that after the State of the Downtown Address, people already asked her about booking the Guncotton space for themselves.
Henderson’s assistance has not gone unnoticed and her work continues. She’s in the stages of planning promotional events for the year, and Kaufman claims that the Downtown Partnership will start sending newsletters to inform people about new businesses and events. Gettting the word out is an important part in improving Hopewell’s downtown area, and Henderson is the right woman for the job.
For more information about the Hopewell downtown partnership check their website at www.hopewelldowntown.com where you may become a monthly donor at a suggested amount of $10/month.