Public presentation on Recapturing Escaping Retail Dollars by Dr. Rachael Carter of MSU is Thursday at 8 a.m.

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Results of Downtown Natchez Alliance 2022 Community Survey to be presented

NATCHEZ — The public is invited to attend an important and revealing presentation by Rachael Carter, Ph.D., with MSU Center for Government & Community Development, on “Recapturing Natchez’s Lost Retail Dollars,” Thursday from 8 to 9 a.m. in the St. Francisville Room of the Natchez Convention Center.

“Anyone who is in business or who wants to be in business should certainly attend,” said Mickey Howley, executive director of the Downtown Natchez Alliance, the event sponsor.

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“Policy makers, elected officials, investors, and economic development professionals will also benefit from Dr. Carter’s research into Natchez’s trade area and her expertise,” Howley said.

Dr. Carter will present market research, as well as the results of DNA’s 2022 Community Survey, conducted by Dr. Carter, which had nearly 500 respondents.

Dr. Carter’s work will feed into a high-level action plan for DNA to help facilitate the city’s Downtown Master Plan priorities and spur downtown revitalization.

The 2022 survey questions included, “What retail would you like to see in Downtown Natchez?” “What one thing that would improve Downtown Natchez?” and “Where do you shop for groceries, clothing, healthcare, entertainment, hardware, professional services, and more?”

Respondents were also asked to rate the city’s Downtown Master Plan priorities:

• Preservation and development of the Bluff, Arts District, Triangle and Key Buildings?

• Downtown Mobility: traffic, parking, walkability, bike routes, wayfinding?

• Downtown Residential: new housing, upper floor housing, playgrounds, recreation?

• Business Development: improved vacancy rate, marketing downtown as a small business destination, developing incentives for public arts?

DNA’s work with Dr. Carter builds on studies previously conducted as part of the city’s 2018 Downtown Master Plan project, which included a series of public engagement sessions involving 300 community stakeholders over the course of two years, as well as a Downtown Retail Market Analysis and a Downtown Housing Market nalysis prepared by Randall Gross Economics (2017-2018).