MainStreet’s business assistance services are broken into four general subcategories and are provided by independently contracted private sector business consultants.
§ Informational Liaison
§ Construction Ombudsman
§ Direct Business Consulting
§ Additional Services & Resources
MainStreet liaisons, while in the field, will disseminate initial project information and introductory program materials directly to the businesses and return with key updates while the project is under planning and design. The designated liaison also updates business information in the MainStreet database in order to ensure receipt of future project mailings and email notifications. Informational liaisons offer MainStreet's services on every visit. Materials and handouts given on these visits may typically include:
- Project Fact Sheet
- Future Improvements Map
- Important Project Contacts
- Anticipated Timelines or Schedules
- MainStreet Program Brochure
- RTA Brochure
- Open House Invitations
- Pre-Construction Open House Invitation
- Utility Coordination Timeline
- Press Releases
- Groundbreaking & Ribbon-Cutting Invitation
During project construction, the ombudsman will help get the most current construction information to the businesses and help facilitate construction-related issue resolution that may affect day-to-day businesses. The ombudsman visits businesses in the primary area regularly and also provides project schedules, traffic control plans and other pieces of helpful information. Businesses will be encouraged to call their MainStreet ombudsman 24/7 or the MainStreet hotline (520) 838-4352 if they have questions or concerns. The ombudsman provides:
- Project Updates
- Utility Coordinate Updates
- Construction Scheduling
- Traffic Control Plans
- Issue-Resolution Triage
Direct Business Consulting
Complimentary direct business consulting services will be offerd by the informational liaison and the construction ombudsman as part of their visits. If these services are accepted, a pre-consultation intake is scheduled and performed, followed by a business health assessment where the type of direct consulting needed is determined as well as hours allocated. MainStreet uses a proprietary business assessment tool to help determine and mitigate potential construction impacts to the business' bottom line, and is designed to improve the overall health of the business beyond the construction itself. MainStreet contracts with business consultants to guide the business to develop unique solutions and deliverables.
The MainStreet process includes:
o Review the consulting process and set clear expectations
o Sign client commitment and confidentiality agreement
§ Business Assessment
o Perform business health assessment in eight primary areas (Business Planning, Financial Controls, Marketing/Advertising, Sales Management, Customer Service, Organization Controls, Personnel Development, Operations/Quality Control)
o Analyze, identify and prioritize needs
§ Recommendation Report
§ Tangible Deliverable(s)
o Implementation begins
§ Solicit feedback
Direct consulting has been used by hundreds of businesses on RTA projects and typically made a significant difference for them. Businesses have expressed satisfaction with MainStreet receiving a 100 percent feedback satisfaction rating. MainStreet estimates that as many as 1,000 businesses will use the direct consulting services over the life of the RTA Plan.
Additional Services & Resources
MainStreet will offer its Construction Readiness Strategy Planning sessions along with various tip sheets on what to expect during construction projects, how to prepare, how to effectively communicate during construction and how to work with the media. MainStreet will offer its Small Business Success workshops, which are free to any business on any of the projects, past or present. MainStreet also offers additional specialty consulting modules in social media, customized access maps, A-frame signage/banner design, Hispanic marketing, secret shopper, restaurant server training and website design.
MainStreet updates and publishes a Regional Small Business Resource Directory listing information that's helpful to operate businesses in southern Arizona. This free publication containing over 2,500 resources is available online. Categories include:
- Business Support
- Human Resources
- International Business
- Management and Learning
- Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations
MainStreet provides additional services and resources to businesses at no charge:
- Construction Readiness Workshops before construction of the project. This workshop will have the latest project information along with tips, materials and direct experience that can be useful in preparing the business, employees, clients and vendors for the upcoming improvement project. These "readiness" planning sessions also are made available privately at the business as well, along with assistance in building a personalized readiness strategy.
- MainStreet has created and updates a Regional Small Business Resource Directory which provides resources for the small business community. This directory is perfect for businesses looking to broaden their “circle of support” and is available for download on the MainStreet website, www.mainstreetinfo.org.
- Small Business Success Workshops focus on specific areas of best practices for businesses such as financial, marketing, operational, entrepreneurial, etc. MainStreet’s last workshop was "Leave No Stone Unturned - Business Practices to Save Money and Generate Cash Flow!"
- Personalized construction access maps for the business website, direct mail, ads, etc. to show alternative access to the business during the project.
- Private consultations on developing and implementing a "social media plan" for notifying customers and vendors about construction while growing the business through the fast growing area of social media.