DBA planning for changes

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A month with a new leader means a new focus for the Downtown Business Association.

Karen Brown, manager of the Community Budget Center, took over presidency of the group after the Nov. 13 resignation of Linda Booker.

Booker, who had worked with the DBA for 10 years, explained her reasons for resigning in a two-page letter.

Booker stated it was time to move on after hearing complaints from DBA members that a business with which Booker is affiliated, the Bear River Emporium, was competing with theirs, and that advertising consultants with the Moffat County Morning News-- Craig America Shopper, which houses the emporium, were asking those businesses to purchase advertising at the same time the emporium was selling competing products.

Booker's resignation paved the way for Brown's turn at the DBA helm, but an excited, idea-filled group is what's opening the door for a new focus, Brown said.

"I'm not trying to shake things up, they're shaken up enough already," she said. "We're just going to change the focus on doing what we can to make the city a better place to live and do business and shop and keep people here."

The change of leadership was part of the group's impetus to find a new direction, but some negative feedback that DBA members received from the community was another.

"After hearing what the town thought of the DBA and how hard they were to work with, I went to the DBA and said, 'We need to change our image,'" said Jackie Roberts, owner of Timberworks. "There's got to be a community effort to make this work."

Brown said she has heard some negative feedback, too, but she could never pinpoint the reason.

One change the group is considering is a name change that is more inclusive of all of Craig's businesses, not just those downtown.

"I think we just felt we don't have to be exclusive anymore," Neolithics owner Carol Wilson said.

"It was time for a little bit of a change. We had the opportunity to change gears when the leadership changed, and we're formulating plans now."

Topmost among those plans is forming strong partnership with the city, county, Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership.

"We're all on the same page here," Brown said. "We all have the same goals. We want to work with whoever we can work with to make Craig a better place."

The Downtown Business Association was created nearly 25 years ago as an adjunct committee of the Chamber of Commerce to serve downtown businesses.

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