QUINCY — Wednesday evening saw the District in Quincy virtually present its 43rd Annual Meeting and Awards, announcing new officers and board members as well as presenting awards to individuals and businesses while looking to the future for what comes next.
The District is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization devoted to promoting and growing the business neighborhood bordered by Broadway Street to the north, State Street to the south and from the riverfront to 12th Street west-to-east. Over 500 volunteers contributed more than 5,000 hours of service in the District, even in the midst of a worldwide health crisis.
Chip Owens, outgoing board president, commended everyone involved, from board members to business owners to volunteers for keeping the District — as an organization and a business district — growing. Owens reported 2020 ended with 10 new businesses moving into the area and 90% occupancy at the street level. New market-rate apartments were also made available in 2020.
Owens highlighted the Q-Town Cash program, in partnership with the Great River Economic Development Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, and State Street Bank, that was conceived and executed to help business survive during pandemic-induced closures. Owens said the program led to more than $30,000 being spent locally.
As the incoming board president, Bob Beswick discussed plans the District has for 2021.
“We will hopefully not have to pivot like we did in 2020,” Beswick said, but assured the audience that they would be ready to do so if needed.
The District saw two board members, Justin Wollbrink and Krista Snyder, step aside while welcoming three new board members in Jan Smith, Lakin Hardy, and Derek Byquist to the group.
Beswick said plans were moving forward with the events and programs that have become the hallmarks of the District, including Concerts on the Plaza, Blues in the District, the progressive dinner, Feast in the Heart of Quincy, and the ChristKindl Market. The first District event of the year is “Shop Local Saturday” on Feb. 13, intended to bring shoppers into the area to support local businesses.
Eight awards were given to businesses and individuals for their contributions to helping the District, and Quincy as a whole, continue to thrive even through difficult times.
The Economic Vitality Award was presented to DP Construction, while the Quincy Fire Department received the Promotion Award. The Design Award went to District Designs, with United Way of Adams County recognized as Organization of the year.
Laura Wietholder received the 2020 Bob Mays Volunteer of the Year Award, while Mike Holbrook was named the District’s Diplomat of the Year.
Jeni’s Boutique went home with the New Business of the Year award, and Yellow Kiss Boutique was named Business of the Year.
The District intends to have video recognition for all eight winners posted the first week of February on its social media sites.
Bruce Guthrie, executive director for the District, congratulated all of the winners for 2020.
“We are very fortunate to have so many volunteers, organizations and businesses that are willing to get involved and have genuine passion to make the heart of Quincy the best it can be,” Guthrie said.
“We are so proud of our property owners and business owners on how they navigated through this pandemic with creativity and hard work,” he added. “The District serves as a reminder of what makes Quincy unique.”