BY KELLY KRUSE
Have you visited Downtown Racine lately? It has a very different feel to it than you may remember – a feel that has buried the stereotypes and perceptions that once plagued our streets. We are proud of our downtown and for good reason! During the last 15 years we’ve come a long way from the vacant storefronts and dismal curb appeal that kept people away.
It has evolved into a destination for both out-of-town visitors and local residents, where Lake Michigan becomes the backdrop for a business district coming back to life. In fact, we have had 38 new businesses open since January of 2017. Now that is something to be proud of!
You’ll find lots of great reasons to visit and keep coming back for more.
Downtown has a plethora of authentic restaurants that can excite any taste bud including 18 restaurants that received a 2018 Best of Racine award. We have unique stores with gifts that will surely delight everyone on your list, including 10 shops that also received a “Best of” award this year. Our streets are flowing with beautiful flowers and four-hour parking meters that no longer requires you to dig into the depths of your purse or pockets for a quarter – you now have the option of using the PassportParking app on your phone.
My ask of you is to go the extra mile (literally) and support these small business owners. They are the ones that appreciate every dollar you spend with them. They are the ones that do a little happy dance when you walk out the door with a bag of goodies. They are the dreamers, the doers and the core of Racine.
A thriving downtown doesn’t happen by accident. It takes vision, partnership and persistence. It takes the commitment of people who care about this place. It takes you!
This holiday season, please put your money where your heart is. Support the downtown merchants. Be a doer. Be a catalyst for change. You can make the difference. I challenge you.
At the Downtown Racine Corporation, our mission is to create and maintain a healthy, vibrant downtown. With the support of people like you, we are working to bring about positive and lasting change by keeping downtown economically robust and ensuring a safe, clean and inviting experience for residents and visitors.
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24 and the Downtown Open House is Saturday, Dec. 8.
Mark your calendar for one or both of these days, or any other day to go the extra mile and swing into a few shops, dine at a local restaurant and enjoy a cold brew from one of the local taverns. And invite your friends and family to join you!
For information on how you can volunteer or donate to the Downtown Racine Corporation, email Kelly Kruse at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
To join our email list visit racinedowntown.com. To join our text club, text the keyword: Racine to 95577
Kelly Kruse is the executive director at Downtown Racine Corporation.