I am an advocate for the redevelopment of the Central Avenue corridor to include new independently owned businesses, housing, and gathering spaces. A healthy and vibrant commercial center for Columbia Heights makes our city attractive to new residents and businesses. This generates tax revenues that can be used for additional improvements and city services.
During my time as a city councilor, I’ve supported several actions that have made positive impacts on our downtown area. These include small business grants for facade improvements, moving our city hall to a new location, implementing a moratorium on auto-related businesses and others.
Our small business grant program has been a great success. Not only are businesses replacing doors, windows, signage and improving facades, but they are also taking advantage of the security camera program that our Police Department set up to help make our main street safer. The program expanded to 40th Avenue last year and more importantly, businesses are spending beyond the $5,000 grant limit and investing even more money into their building.
I support further investments in our downtown and working with business owners to learn what’s important to them. I would like to see the creation of new commissions to study issues like traffic and sustainability to ensure that our downtown corridor is prepared for future changes.