ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
Through a year-long process the Mayodan STEP Leadership Team has developed 4 Strategies to improve our local economy. Those Strategies are Create a Mayodan Brand and Marketing Plan, Implement a Mayodan Beautification and Physical Improvements Program as an Attraction and Retention Tool; Utilize the Natural Resources In and Around Mayodan and Madison (shared with Madison); and, Create an Artisan Environment In and Around Mayodan.
Each Strategy is explained in more detail below.
Create an artisan environment in and around Mayodan
The Town of Mayodan is evolving with the closing and dismantling of the mill that provided livelihoods for the citizens of Mayodan for over 100 years.
Now it is time to re-imagine our town and demonstrate that we are more than a mill town without a mill. We want to create an environment that will facilitate artists and artisans in creating unique and marketable products. With picturesque and inspiring venues, like Mayo River State Park, Farris Memorial Park, and Autumn Creek Vineyards, we want Mayodan to be the center of a thriving artisan community.
To accomplish this strategy, an oversight group will be created that will connect artists and artisans from a broad geographic area to the opportunities already existing here and to new opportunities that will be developed, including a diversity of themed events scheduled each year and storefront displays in our downtown buildings.
This oversight group will create and maintain a publicly accessible database of artists and artisans that can be used to generate business and to allow networking among the individuals and businesses. The group will coordinate its efforts with those of nearby similar groups that already exist.
Rockingham Community College is an asset that can be used to provide training opportunities for individuals wanting to become artisans. The STEP Team will continue to work to overcome obstacles that have deterred us from substantial implementation of previous economic development strategies.
Utilize the Natural Resources In and Around Mayodan and Madison
Madison and Mayodan residents as well as visitors are deeply impressed by our area’s natural beauty and its recreational opportunities, but up to now we have often taken them for granted.
Even residents can currently find it hard to locate and enjoy the natural resource options. Local businesses currently offer recreational, tourist and environmental goods but the market is underdeveloped; meanwhile teenagers and young adults complain about nothing to do.
Potential industries considering our area use quality of life issues for their management as well as other metrics in deciding where to locate. Therefore, this strategy seeks to develop recreational environmental opportunities and create new ones, in order to: improve health and quality of life for people of all ages; attract new residents, industry, and tourists while helping existing businesses; create more environmental and tourist oriented jobs; and strengthen our economy.
Implement a Mayodan Beautification and Physical Improvements Program as an Attraction and Retention Tool
Mayodan no longer contains a thriving business center in town. Most retail businesses have moved or gone out of business.
Visitors and potential customers to the traditional downtown area of Mayodan do not find enough of the types of businesses that generate foot traffic and the possibility of repeat business.
While a few individual property owners have invested in improvements to their properties in recent years, the lack of a unifying vision for physical improvements led to those property improvements generating only a short term burst of enthusiasm that soon waned. However, with these improved properties as a starting point, the fact that the downtown area is compact in size, and some buildings in town have historic significance there is a base on which to build momentum for a renewed property revitalization effort.
This strategy seeks to have meaningful and sustainable property improvements made in Mayodan by improving communications among and between property owners, business owners, town government officials, and related citizens organizations; providing additional resources to property owners and business owners; and utilizing the historic aspect of key properties to improve the appearance and accessibility of Mayodan and to attract additional businesses, customers, and residents.
Create a Mayodan Brand and Marketing Plan
Mayodan is a mill town. But, Mayodan is more than a mill town. Thus, Mayodan has an identity problem.
From being viewed as a small town with only one industry to existing in the shadow of Madison, NC, the public perception of Mayodan is that the town has little to offer and bleak prospects for the future. However, there is a strong sense of community pride among the citizens of Mayodan.
While this pride is derived from our mill town roots and a legacy of neighbor helping neighbor, there are other aspects of Mayodan that should be incorporated into the town’s identity.
Manufacturing has not gone away from Mayodan; it has diversified and thrived. Even with the mill facility gone there are other historically significant properties in town. And, the natural resources in the area are more accessible than ever.
This strategy seeks to incorporate these positive attributes (and others that may be identified) into a Mayodan brand that is easily understood and recognizable. This brand will become part of a marketing plan that will be used to change the public perception of Mayodan and will be used in business and industry recruitment, new resident recruitment, and to support town appearance projects. The resulting marketing plan will provide consistent visual components along with uniform messaging and will be implemented across all media formats; print, broadcast, electronic, and social.