The role of WHDA in promoting Washington

Published 9:09 pm Sunday, June 19, 2016

In this series of articles, it is my hope that we can better inform the public what the role of the Washington Harbor District Alliance is in the economic growth of downtown Washington.

Some have known it as DWOW, Merchants Association and now WHDA.

First, WHDA is a member of the National Main Street Organization, and we were one of the first to join in North Carolina. Our vision is to be the center for arts, unique shops and restaurants, diverse festivals and the center of interplay with the beautiful Pamlico River. The WHDA embraces its historic port town’s past and helps grow business and recreation that promotes its future. The WHDA’s mission is to improve economic conditions and quality of life while serving as a facilitator and catalyst to renew, restore, rebuild and invest in the Harbor District.

As mentioned previously, WHDA is an accredited member of the N.C. Main Street Organization that uses the National Main Street Center’s four-point approach, which includes: organization, promotion, design and economic restructuring to implement a downtown revitalization initiative.

In simple and laymen language, we are here to serve our merchants in our business district and do everything imaginable to help them sustain a strong economic climate that the larger, big box stores are taking away from many small towns like ours in eastern North Carolina. It is our hope to help bring back the vibrancy and prove to be a gateway for Beaufort County that everyone will be proud of for generations. We have one natural resource that many would love to have, and that is the Pamlico River, an attraction for many outside of Beaufort County and one we need to build upon.

The Washington Harbor District Alliance is one of four groups that all have different purposes in promoting Washington and Beaufort County. Our sister groups include the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Washington Tourism Development Authority and Arts of the Pamlico. We all work harmoniously to provide our town with as much recognition as we can to attract others to our city.

It will be my hope that I can give you some background as to the operations of your Washington Harbor District Alliance and share my love, while hoping it gets to be contagious for our Washington. It is yours! Until next week…shop local, buy local and take a walk with H-Rob.

Harold Robinson is the executive director of Washington Harbor District Alliance.