Nearly two years after the reconstruction of Johnson Drive through downtown Mission, the effects of that project are still being felt – in a positive way.
The Mission Business Partnership, which got its official start July 1, is one of those effects. “We wanted to maintain the momentum we built during the Johnson Drive reconstruction,” said Kevin Fullerton of Springboard Creative, one of the businesses on Johnson Drive.
Fullerton, along with Sandii Russell of Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop, invited the business owners along Johnson Drive to an initial meeting about forming the business group. The idea was one of the recommendations that came from a downtown task force that followed the reconstruction.
During those tough times for businesses, when the street was ripped up and it was hard for customers to get to the businesses between Nall and Lamar, the businesses helped each other out and came together as a team, Fullerton said.
Fullerton and Russell had been working on the idea for nine months and invited the 100 businesses within a block of Johnson Drive to an initial meeting to judge support for the idea of forming an association. About 25 showed up, but many others expressed an interest in the idea. A decision to expand to the entire business community, including commercial property owners gained immediate support.
“The thing this area needs the most is unified marketing,” Fullerton said. Another goal is to be a voice for the Mission businesses. Besides marketing and advocacy, the group has ideas for events to increase the traffic in the business areas. People who come to the business district are amazed at what they see, Fullerton and Russell said.
Russell and Fullerton have had their businesses on Johnson Drive for four years. In that time they have seen a lot of renovation and new businesses that want to give back to the area. “The city has done a lot for the area, now it’s time for the businesses (to step up),” Fullerton said.
Joining the partnership is voluntary with annual dues of $100. Aug. 24 will mark the first of the regular meetings every other month. The inaugural set of officers includes:
President — Kevin Fullerton, Springboard Creative
Chair/Membership — Kellie Overocker, Indigo Rose
Chair/Communications — Rob Mitchell, Yellow Lab Imaging
Co-Chair/Programs — Sandi Russell, Twisted Sisters Coffee Shop
Co-Chair/Programs — Kathy Gilbert, Taylored Hair
Secretary/Treasurer — Cathy Casey, Casey Auto Repair