Officials look at growing Quincy's downtown sales - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Officials look at growing Quincy's downtown sales

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Car travels down downtown Quincy. Car travels down downtown Quincy.
Cars parked along a street. Cars parked along a street.

When you think retail, you may think of the mall or Prairie Crossing Shopping Center, but new numbers show a lot of Quincy's sales tax dollars come from somewhere else.

Quincy's downtown has seen a lot of improvements over the last few years with officials saying new businesses and the remodeled apartments as examples. Now they have statistics to back it up and they're finding ways to grow on that success.

Domestics Etc. Owner Joy Berhorst knew residents want to shop downtown, but didn't know the area's sales tax revenue was higher than the mall and Prairie Crossing.

"I was just amazed," Berhorst said. "I think that's fantastic. I always tell everybody were the best kept hidden secret in Quincy."

10 percent of the city's sales tax revenue comes from downtown businesses according to numbers from the Quincy Strategic Plan. Bruce Guthrie with The District says part of it has been the drive from business owners for change.

"It's been very exciting," Guthrie said. "More people are coming downtown. More people are investing into downtown. We've got a lot of young people."

Advisors say millennials want an experience with shopping. Improving the walking area around downtown shops is part of the long term plans in Quincy.

"People are buying things in our downtown," Maggie Strong, local facilitator for the Quincy Strategic Plan, said. "People want to buy more things in our downtown if we fill up more retail space. It's a win-win for Quincy."

With these changes, One local shopper feels comfortable being downtown.

"I feel safer shopping downtown now than I did because of the development improvements that have taken place," Terry Power said.

Officials believe the strategic plan will be key increasing the downtown sales. It calls for making the area more attractive for shoppers. Guthrie says it could help.

"They want to feel like a neighborhood," Guthrie added. "They want to feel comfortable and be able to walk around and enjoy it. That's changing."

Officials also saying having sale events, like Shop Local Saturday on November 25, reminds residents to take time and check out what local business owners have to offer. 

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