Downtown Greensboro Incorporated
What We Do:
Downtown Greensboro Incorporated (DGI) is an economic development organization focused on stimulating investment and activity in the center city. DGI is a non-profit entity and is led by a 23-member Board of Directors composed of volunteers representing specific stakeholders in the center city. The categories include: Major Property Owners ($3 million value or more), Large Property Owners ($1 to $3 million), Small Property Owners ($1 million or less), Retail Shop Owner, Service/Hospitality Sector, Professional/Office Sector, Downtown Resident, At-Large and City Council Representatives. The Board also includes five ex officio members. These categories insure that the Board represents diverse interests and viewpoints in the center city. DGI employs a professional staff of 4 full-time and one part-time member.
Downtown Greensboro Incorporated has three standing committees that provide an additional voice for interested stakeholders. The committees include Economic Development, Marketing and Environmental. Downtown business owners, property owners, workers, residents or funding partners may participate on a committee.
DGI also has two subsidiary organizations. The Downtown Greensboro Incorporated Corporation manages the Municipal Service District (or Business Improvement District) for Downtown. The Downtown Greensboro Foundation is designated as a 501c3 organization for charitable and educational purposes.
DGI was formed in 1997. The geographic area it serves is generally Fisher Avenue to the north, Spring Street to the west, Lee Street to the south and Murrow Boulevard to the east.
How is DGI funded?
The major funding source for the organization is a Municipal Service District or Business Improvement District (BID), that levies a special assessment on Downtown business and property owners to provide enhanced services and programs that benefit the ratepayers. This district was created by City Council in 2005 after a petition process demonstrated support by over 60% of the property owners. These funds are governed by state law and are intended to enhance, not replace, government funding to Downtown. Click here for the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget, July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
The City of Greensboro and Guilford County contributes to DGI through annual contracts for economic development and other services for the area. These contracts have specific, quantifiable outcomes that are targeted to growing the community's tax base. DGI also receives contributions from its Annual Fund Drive. Contributors include the Guilford Merchants Association, local foundations and dozens of individual supporters.
What is DGI's Mission?
DGI’s primary focus is to lead the development of Downtown Greensboro as a prosperous and vibrant urban center, memorable and meaningful for those who choose to live, work, play and invest here.
What programs does DGI provide?
The organization provides a wide range of services. One of DGI’s most visible programs is the Clean and Green Team. Members are easily identifiable in bright green shirts and work seven days a week to provide a clean and safe setting for workers, customers, clients and visitors. The team removes litter on streets and sidewalks, pressure washes pedestrian areas, removes graffiti, maintains hanging flower baskets and performs other similar duties.
DGI also directs business recruitment and retention programs. We work with entrepreneurs interested in opening a small store to large investors examining multi-use redevelopment projects. DGI maintains demographic data, property information, consultant reports and studies and tracks existing and proposed investment in the center city.
On the marketing side, DGI’s web site provides a free listing for all Downtown businesses, a mapping function and a range of other information. DGI is also active in social media and directs a multi-faceted advertising campaign to promote Downtown as a fun and lively destination. The e-newsletter is distributed each Thursday to subscribers interested in knowing upcoming events and activities.
Public safety, parking, and public space management are addressed through DGI’s Environmental Committee. Programs include a shared dumpster service, urban design issues, transportation issues and frequent interaction with police and fire officials.
DGI also provides advocacy and education services. These range from recommending action by local government to providing presentations to civic and social groups.
What is the DGI work plan?
DGI identifies projects and activities on an annual basis and allocates funds to complete specific activities each year. This is the basis for DGI’s work plan. For an annual report (pdf) showing results from the most current fiscal year click here. For summary of reports, newsletters and e-newsletters read more.
Do other cities have programs like DGI’s and are they operated the same way?
Greensboro is one of thousands of cities nationally and internationally with a downtown development program. The most successful programs are organized like Downtown Greensboro Incorporated with a BID partnership between business leaders and local government officials with a full-time staff that reports to the Board of Directors.
Does DGI get input from citizens and can I become involved?
Business owners, property owners, workers and funding partners are welcome to serve on a standing committee. DGI also convenes short-term task forces or working groups to address specific issues. Interested citizens may contact the DGI office at 336-379-0060 or firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate their area of interest.