May 27, 2020 - Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA) announced today that this summer’s Third Thursday street fair series has been canceled due to restrictions on public gatherings that are expected to remain in place throughout the summer. The organization is, however, proceeding with plans for other activities and events that could be appropriately produced given the restrictions.
“We are of course disappointed that one of the community’s most popular annual events is not going to take place this summer, but guidance from the state indicates that large gatherings will be limited at least through September. In the past couple seasons, average attendance at Third Thursday has been around four to five thousand with nearly 100 vendors. At that scale, our board couldn’t see a viable path to successfully producing the event this summer, even if restrictions are relaxed ahead of schedule,” said KFDA Executive Director Darin Rutledge. KFDA has already received some vendor applications for the event and will be working with those vendors to offer refunds for prepaid vendor fees.
In light of restrictions on the size of public gatherings, the organization is working on plans for smaller events throughout the summer, including a revamped version of its popular live music series at Sugarman’s Corner. “Downtown is a gathering place – that’s a big part of what makes it special. With Third Thursday not an option this summer, we want to continue to be creative in providing opportunities for people to gather and to showcase our downtown businesses and amenities. This summer that’s just going to look a little different as we adapt to provide options for people to get together safely and responsibly with respect to the public health concerns that we’re currently facing,” said Rutledge. KFDA will also expand its collaboration with community partners to produce summer events as a way to share resources and highlight other community organizations who have been extremely limited in their ability to operate the past couple months. As an example, KFDA plans to continue its partnership with Klamath Folk Alliance to schedule performers for live music events.
Announcements and information are shared through KFDA’s website at www.downtownklamathfalls.org, through its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DowntownKFalls, and through an electronic newsletter (visitors can sign up on the website).
KFDA provides its events and programs largely through sponsorships and annual contributions from its members, and recognizes the following “Champion” and “Promoter” level sponsors for their generous ongoing support: Klamath Insurance Center, Amerititle, Oregon Tech, Fisher Nicholson Realty, KLAD 92.5 FM, Pacific Power, KCEDA, SmithBates, Discover Klamath, Thai Orchid, NIS Labs, Holiday Market, Rodeos Pizza & Saladeria, The Residences at 621, and Bell Hardware.
Darin Rutledge, Executive Director
Klamath Falls Downtown Association
Governor Brown and President Trump both recently released initial frameworks for reopening Oregon's and America's economy (you can click on the images below to see the details of what was released). The plans at both levels are still being fleshed out, but here's what we know so far, at least for the Oregon framework:
UPDATE 4/29: We found a very cool resource for some strategies and ideas you should think about while considering how to reopen your business. Check out the information below, then visit Reopen Main Street for some other great ideas!
With the framework in place and conversations ongoing, it is likely within the next few weeks we'll see tangible activity toward reopening the economy. With that said, we want to make sure you are starting to think about your plans for reopening. Specifically, here are some areas you should be thinking about.
We are continuously scanning fo resources additional resources that would be helpful to our small businesses as they consider reopening. For example, restaurants and bars should visit this Relaunch Toolkit for Restaurants + Bars from Streetsense. We've added this link to our Business Resilience page, and will provide access to additional resources when they become available.
... Even (Especially) Right Now
Scott Allen, General Sales Manager
Local Radio Advertising right now - Hit the brakes or mash on the accelerator? The answer depends on where you want to be when life returns to normal. One popular adage says, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”
There are several reasons that advertising is important during times of crisis. I’ll share a couple here.
Probably most important is to project an image of stability to our customers. Peace is the most valuable thing we can offer to customers during times of great uncertainty. It is helpful to let people know what’s changing in our business and why. Customers need us to explain how to do business with us in the new environment. We shouldn’t abandon them to figure things out on their own. If we do, they’ll quickly find another business who is reaching out to them. When normal comes back that will be where they stay. If you want to come out of this with your customer base intact you should talk to a marketing professional about you messaging and about how to advertise in this environment.
When businesses cut back on or eliminate their advertising, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current – and possibly future – sales. An increase in “share of voice” typically leads to in an increase in “share of market.” An increase in market share results, with an increase in profits. Accept the fact that the profit will almost certainly come at the end of this crisis. That may also be the time that you need it most. Good advertising will improve how you come out of this. There is no better position than 1st when it comes to the battle for “share of mind”. When you advertise thru a crisis and make improving position a priority. Good advertising will improve how you come out of this.
No sales pitch here but you need to know that local radio is the best way to communicate with your customers right now. Local radio has a connection with our community and your customers that no other medium can match. Local radio stations have personal relationships with your customers…even more personal than your relationship with your customers. We can keep you connected to them at a time when they need you and you need them most.
It is unlikely that any of us are going to come out of this better than we went in. Things are going to be tough but if we continue to talk to our customers along the way there is a 100% chance, we’ll come out of it together. For our customers and listeners sake we’re going to get on the accelerator.
Editor's Note: We are aware of the potential impact to public health as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 / Coronavirus situation. We are providing a summary of the March monthly meeting presentations in an effort to ensure that those who were not able to attend - for whatever reason - may still benefit from the information presented.
March 13, 2020 - KFDA held its March Monthly Network meeting this past Wednesday at the South Portal building at 205 Riverside Drive. Attendees heard two presentations from local organization leaders. Following is a summary of those presentations.
Klamath Basin Youth Without Borders
Klamath Basin Youth Without Borders (KBYWB) is a local youth organization that strives to introduce local teens to other cultures through travel and participation in service projects tied to Habitat for Humanity's "Global Village" program.
Taylor Hampton, KBYWB president, provided an overview of the organization and presented a plan for an upcoming service project that would involve Downtown businesses. The project, slated for this coming fall, would consist of a scavenger hunt in the Downtown area, with the goal of introducing local teens to our Downtown and assisting them in their efforts to travel abroad. An overview of the plan (distributed at the meeting) is available below. KFDA will coordinate KBYWB as the planning progresses to connect Downtown businesses with the opportunity to participate.
Klamath Falls Police Department
City of Klamath Falls Police Chief David Henslee met with the group to discuss a variety of items related to public safety. Prior to the presentation, KFDA President Nic Phair thanked Chief Henslee for his service to Klamath Falls and once again recognized him as the 2017 recipient of the IHeartKFalls award, an annual award given to a local citizen who exemplifies the IHeartKFalls spirit in their community work (Chief Henslee was presented with the customary Hydroflask bottle when the award was presented, but KFDA in 2018 began awarding an additional crystal award for display. To maintain consistency and solidify the IHeartKFalls as a perennial award, KFDA retroactively had a crystal award prepared for the award's inaugural recipient).
Given the Downtown-specific audience, Chief Henslee reported some crime data for Downtown that is very encouraging. Of particular interest, calls for service related to crime in the Downtown area have decreased by 59%. Additionally, he reported that those calls for service are now more frequently officer-initiated than reported by the public, which is a reversal of past trends. He did recognize that, although the rate of crime has decreased, there are still "hotspots" where some Downtown visitors continue to disregard the expectations of acceptable social behavior, or are flat out violating the law. In a continued effort to bolster his department's toolbox, he outlined some new City ordinances that are in the process of being developed:
The new ordinances will be presented to City Council for deliberation in the next few months.
Also discussed was the changing perception in the Downtown area related to the anti-social behavior displayed by a small number of Downtown regulars. There have been reports of some uncomfortable - and frankly, down right rude - interactions with these people, and Chief Henslee wants to make sure that Downtown stakeholders know how they can prevent these interactions and what to do if they occur. First, it is important that businesses and property owners aren't inviting these people to their premises. There are several Downtown businesses who provide free snacks, coffee, or ice water to their customers which attracts non-customers, some of whom may be the same individuals displaying anti-social behaviors. Chief Henslee recommends that, if your business offers this to customers as a convenience or a "perk", it should not be available in a common area to simply anyone who walks in. Additionally, make sure that your premises are well lit (especially in less commonly used building exposures) and that you don't have any alcoves or hidden areas that would encourage someone to sit for long periods of time or worse, provide a hidden place for illegal activity. If possible, security cameras are also an effective deterrent and can be helpful in investigating any incidents at surrounding properties.
Chief Henslee also recommends that people use everyday common sense when walking in the Downtown area - don't walk alone, use some type of light if walking after dark, always have a cell phone with you, etc. And finally, should you witness any illegal activity or face a confrontation that makes you uncomfortable in any way, dial 911. Chief Henslee emphasized that his department now has tools in place (for example, the Enhanced Law Enforcement Area and a contract with the Klamath County Jail) that allows them to, in some cases, make an arrest and transport individuals who don't want to follow the law. "The only way we can do anything is if we hear about it. It's simple - dial 911".
It was also noted that, given the recent spring-like weather, he has restarted the seasonal foot patrols in the Downtown area, as the activity described above tends to pick up with better weather. Chief Henslee indicated that his officers have certain metrics to meet with respect to contact with businesses, and asked in return that Downtown employees make an effort to contact his officers when they walk by even if it means, "running to the door and going outside to catch them and say 'hi' or 'thank you'!"
In closing his presentation, Chief Henslee thanked the residents and businesses in Klamath Falls and Downtown specifically for being vigilant in helping his department. "It's a community effort, and you are all a part of the team. I can see the pride in this community, and I thank you for making it such a great place."
KFDA's next Monthly Network Meeting will be April 8. Visit our Facebook page regularly for details.
How your brick and mortar business can benefit!
With Third Thursday coming up, have you thought about how your business can take advantage of such a huge promotional opportunity? Brick and mortar businesses that keep their doors open for Third Thursday have a unique opportunity to introduce themselves to thousands of people, demonstrate their downtown and community support, and even ring the cash register! Simply put, if you are located on or near Main St., you'll have about 4,000 people walking right past your door during Third Thursday. Many of these people don’t regularly spend time downtown – what a great chance to introduce them to what downtown has to offer!
We’ve heard from a handful of businesses that large events that draw people downtown often result in hearing, “I never even knew our downtown had a store like this!” If you could increase the exposure of your business and spread your brand awareness that easily, wouldn’t it be good for your business?
Even if you don’t significantly increase sales during the event, the opportunity to introduce your business to thousands of people can pay off in the long run. We encourage you to show off your storefront during Third Thursday – here are a few ideas to help you connect to these potential customers:
You work hard to operate your business, and we understand if you want to spend Third Thursday in other ways. But we also want to make sure you have considered the significant marketing potential that Third Thursday presents for downtown businesses.
The Klamath Falls Downtown Association's first meeting in the New Year was held at the Gaucho Collective and featured a presentation from Oregon Tech student Jennifer Massey who conducted a study on student's perceptions of downtown.
Click the link below to read the Herald & News coverage of the event: