Promoting a Strong Economic Foundation – Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Weighs in on Downtown Master Plan

August 8, 2022

Honorable Newell Arnerich
Mayor, Town of Danville
510 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526

Dear Mayor Arnerich,

We want to thank you for your diligence and work on the components of the Downtown Master Plan. It has been wonderful to see how our downtown can be re-imagined and shaped to increase community engagement, business profitability and pedestrian safety.

On July 14, 2022, we held an Economic Development Committee meeting specific to the Downtown Master Plan and components being brought forward for Town Council consideration regarding American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) funding. We were very pleased to have had representation from many business sectors, including retail, restaurants, property owners and community leaders who care deeply about our downtown. We have heard from even more business and community stakeholders in the past few weeks. It’s great to see our community engaged and caring about the future of business in our historic downtown area.

We realize the tight timeframe to get projects in the works, given the guidelines on how ARPA funding must be utilized and deadlines for completion in the near term. We are also cognizant that the purpose of this funding is to revitalize business and communities during the pandemic.

While we support development of the Theater Plaza, businesses have also expressed interest in seeing more activity in different areas that promote community gathering on Hartz Avenue. We encourage consideration of these pedestrian plazas as soon as money is available because we believe this will promote further engagement at retail businesses, restaurants, and service businesses. This is also an opportunity for the Town to put in place public improvements that promote safety. We support enhanced lighting as well as other improvements that will make our downtown more appealing and safer for community gathering.

We also want to honor new business sectors coming into Danville, many of whom are in the health and wellness sectors and are owned by young women and men of color, representing the future of the Town’s economy. Plans are coming together to work with these emerging business sectors to showcase and celebrate the newfound diversity in our Town. We will be working closely with business owners to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful and financially viable. We encourage the Town to engage in studies that promote a comprehensive look at new sectors of our economy to ensure we are doing the right things to support new businesses.

Special thanks to Joe Calabrigo and Jill Bergman for the work they have done to promote the future of downtown in concert with SWA. We are energized and proud to be among the stakeholders who care deeply about Danville’s future and promotion of a strong economic foundation for businesses throughout Danville.

Best wishes,

Brittany Doyle Riley, Chair, Economic Development Committee
Judy B. Lloyd, President & CEO