Explore a few of the community events that the DBDA has either enhanced or developed, and initiatives we've launched to provide even more opportunity for Belmont residents to come together.
Every year Christmas Village is eagerly awaited by young and old alike.
On the first Saturday in December, Belmont's downtown comes alive with holiday sparkle and shine! With a stroll down the Main Street sidewalks, you'll be delighted to encounter friendly Christmas characters, hayrides, music, hot chocolate, s'mores and more.
A group of civic minded local businessmen are to thank for the birth of the Friday Night Live concert series that soon became a staple of Belmont living. Who doesn't enjoy spending a beautiful Carolina evening in the company of your friends and neighbors listening to music, and literally dancing in the street? When the Belmont Merchant's Association disbanded and the beloved series was in danger of disappearing, the DBDA stepped up to take the reigns. Over the years, the music may have evolved, but the joy and energy of those lovely spring and summer nights has not.
Keep The Lights On Virtual 5K
As both a fundraiser for the Downtown Belmont Business Relief Fund and an purposeful, safe way for residents to act to help their fellow friends and neighbors in fighting back against the devastating effects the COVID-19 shutdown was having on Belmont's independent downtown businesses, the DBDA organized a virtual 5K to be run anytime, anywhere, with just a post of your time and a hashtag message of support.
Keep The Lights On Initiative
On March 12, 2020, Gaston County declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. The City of Belmont Main Street Program and the Downtown Belmont Development Association created the “Keep The Lights On” campaign to encourage the community to support downtown businesses through the pandemic. A “Keep The Lights On” video brought stark awareness to the effects COVID-19 could have on small businesses and captured 31,588 views on Facebook. The video also informed viewers of a “Keep the Lights On” page on the City of Belmont website with updated business information. Main Street staff maintained the webpage, which became a one-stop shop for customers to find out the operating status of businesses, changes to business hours, services, and offerings, and takeout and delivery options. Main Street staff also designed and distributed 10-minute curbside pickup signs to increase customer accessibility to downtown businesses.
The Main Street Program and the Downtown Belmont Development Association also produced a “Signs” video showing owners of retail businesses and restaurants with hashtag signs. Its purpose was to garner support for downtown businesses and drive people to the City’s webpage. The “Signs” video had 12,876 views on Facebook.
The Main Street Program worked with City leadership to create a $400,000 small business emergency loan program that immediately offered $10,000 loans to downtown businesses. Belmont Main Street and the Downtown Belmont Development Association held several fundraisers that together raised over $20,000 for a relief fund to help downtown businesses keep their lights on.
Because of the Keep the Lights On campaign, businesses were able to keep their doors open and maintain operations through a devastating time. As a direct result of the initiative, new retail shops and restaurants are locating in downtown Belmont because of the support they saw small businesses receive during the pandemic.
This campaign won a Best Economic Recovery Initiative Award.