City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney was the speaker at the Downtown Business Association’s monthly meeting held Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency.
As she addressed the audience, she assured the business owners in attendance that there is a working relationship between the City and the downtown businesses. She went on to say that the city’s best assets would be at their disposal to ensure continued downtown growth and development, as the downtown businesses are important to our local economy.
In April, the Savannah Downtown Business Association held an open forum for the SDBA membership in order to give them an opportunity to express their concerns with government and the downtown business environment.
One issue that was addressed was cleanliness. Small-Toney then introduced
Susan Broker, who heads up the Citizen Office. This office will address maintenance and beautifying the downtown community.
Small-Toney also addressed the possibility of the cruise ship leaving from the Port of Savannah and how that would impact downtown.
She closed with an open invitation to the business owners in attendance indicating that she is open and interested in hearing the issues and concerns and working with the businesses to get the issues resolved. Small-Toney said she wanted to know what she and her staff could do to encourage and support growth.
Ruel Joyner, President of the SDBA said that he felt as though there has been improvements since Small- Toney became City Manager. Joyner continued saying “the communication issue has improved tremendously and it’s making us more efficient as an organization. We are not just networking, we are helping to shape policy.” The Savannah Downtown Business Association consists of 150 member businesses. It was organized in 1997 by Dicky Mopper and several other business owners. The Association was created to allow the downtown businesses to have voice and involvement in city government and the continued growth of downtown Savannah.