By Jason KUROSU
The Montrose Shopping Park Association held a merchants’ meeting at the Sparr Heights Community Center Monday night, attended not only by Montrose merchants but also by Glendale city officials. While the MSPA holds regular monthly meetings, this occasion brought together merchants who may have not attended the intimate meetings held at Ocean View Bistro on the first Thursday of every month at 8 a.m.
“We’re here not only for you to get to know the board members and city officials,” said MSPA President Ken Grayson, “we also want fellow businesses to get to know each other.”
Attendees received a run-through of who the MSPA is and what they’re about with a slideshow narrated by MSPA Executive Director Dale Dawson. Dawson guided the attendees through the ins and outs of being in a Business Improvement District (BID) and how assessment funds are used by the MSPA.
Dawson also defined the MSPA as “a merchants’ organization dedicated to the promotion of business within the Montrose Shopping Park.” Dawson also described the MSPA’s goal as “to promote the entire town of Montrose, more specifically the Montrose Shopping Park, and to make it a destination for shoppers.”
How exactly the MSPA promotes local business was the central portion of the slideshow in which Dawson cycled through the MSPA’s many promotional events (events which contributed to what Dawson called FRIENDRAISING rather than fundraising), including the weekly Harvest Marketplace, the Montrose Christmas Parade, arts and crafts shows, car shows, film festivals and others, while also showing, through a series of pie charts, how those events are funded and where those funds come from. As for where member assessment funds went, most of it went to seasonal events and advertising and promotion for those events, as well as non-seasonal advertising and cable television.
“Every dollar of your assessment money goes to promote the activities and events and the advertising to bring people into town,” Dawson said to the merchants in attendance.
The member assessment expenditures come to a total of $120,000 for 2012, about a third of the annual MSPA budget. The remainder of the budget comes from the profits of the Harvest Marketplace and the Arts and Crafts shows, along with filming production revenues.
The MSPA’s plans for the immediate future were also part of the slideshow, many of which were additional promotional ideas such as revamping the MSPA website and the introduction of new advertising campaigns and a newsletter among other things.
After the slideshow was a question and answer segment in which merchants could bring up their concerns, many of which involved parking spaces and the availability of parking for both customers and employees. Director of Glendale Public Works Steven Zurn was in attendance and suggested that there may be another meeting in the future specifically and entirely to address merchants’ parking concerns.
“It is our hope that when you leave here,” said Dawson at the conclusion of the slideshow, “that you will feel more connected and better informed about the association of which you are a member than you ever have before.”