In December, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) launched One Downtown, an ambitious, multi-faceted initiative designed to continue providing economic recovery and support opportunities for Downtown businesses while fostering awareness and unity within the six neighborhoods that comprise Downtown.

“One Downtown signifies a pledge to each person, business and organization in our community that DLBA will seek to understand their needs and work safely toward an economic recovery that includes them,” said Broc Coward, DLBA’s Chief Operating Officer. “It highlights our entire community and represents inclusivity and culture.”

The new initiative fits well into DLBA’s recently-updated Strategic Plan, a roadmap for the next five years created through stakeholder input and assistance from the consulting firm Progressive Urban Management Associates. This also helps set the stage for the Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) renewal, in which commercial and residential property owners will vote to renew the PBID management plan that will serve Downtown for the next 10 years.

Phase One of the new One Downtown initiative is now underway; More than 100 street pole banners have been installed throughout the area which carry the messages “My Downtown,” “Your Downtown,” and “Our Downtown” in succession. They underscore the idea that diversity is encouraged, and that its stakeholders (residents, workers, business and property owners, and even visitors), different as they may be, are still united in their love of Downtown.

In addition to the new messaging, Downtown Long Beach will see the implementation of many new programs connected with One Downtown over the next 12 to 18 months:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE — DLBA will continue to build on the support it has been offering Downtown businesses; Since the start of the pandemic, DLBA has created grants and programs to assist local small businesses and independent contractors which totaled more than $400,000.

ONE KIND ACT — This humanity-forward program will increase awareness of Downtown stakeholders who are going the extra mile to help create a spirit of giving, and will also serve to re-connect folks with our hospitality industry and many other small businesses in Downtown.

A key part of the One Kind Act program will be DLBA Safety Ambassadors on Downtown streets helping to encourage good will and generosity by handing out gift cards to random pedestrians for use at local establishments.

BEAUTIFICATION — Keep an eye out for new trees and freshly-painted crosswalks; These are two of the many beautification programs to be activated through the One Downtown initiative that bring value to property owners and will help keep Downtown inviting, appealing, and easy to navigate.

EVENT SPONSORSHIPS: DLBA will continue to host its own popular events such as Taste of Downtown, while enhancing its partnerships with sponsors and community groups for events such as New Year’s Eve fireworks (see photo in this Newsletter), Long Beach Art Walk, LB International Tamales Festival, LB Parol Lantern Festival, Winter in Willmore, and other festivals, events, and space activations throughout Downtown.

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR — This new video-based business network created by DLBA is designed to connect the community with personal services businesses in Downtown. Prospective clients can engage with and get a feel for a business on a level that texts and phone calls don’t reach.

MY DOWNTOWN — Another video-based program, My Downtown will highlight various stakeholders as they share their personal favorites and daily routines at various Downtown destinations and businesses.

NEW SHOPPING AND DINING GUIDES – DLBA will continue to shed light on the ever-increasing variety of unique dining and shopping opportunities throughout Downtown Long Beach.

All of these programs within the One Downtown initiative align with DLBA’s core mission to cultivate, preserve and promote a healthy, safe, and prosperous Downtown for all. The initiative was created to play a key role in the recovery and revitalization of Downtown Long Beach as it energizes for a positive post-pandemic future.