Working together makes all the difference

Published 12:29 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

Please let me start off this week by just saying thank you to the people who stop and take time to let me know they have read the WHDA articles since June. It is something I honestly look forward to and do not ever want to let my friends down. Your opinions matter to me, and again, thanks! With that being said, let us write/read about my opinion of “working together.” It is my feeling that many want to say we all work together, but do we?

The Rio Olympics has just concluded and many of the sports were individual, but there were many team sports included. To be successful, both had to work as one cohesive unit. It is essential in any downtown revitalization program that we all work harmoniously together for it to become a reality. It cannot fall on the shoulders of any one organization, council or sector of the community. We all have to own up to our responsibilities to revitalize our downtown. There are many groups, but today I will touch briefly on two.

The first group is our organizations that work to promote Washington and the central business district. They are: Arts of the Pamlico, Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, Washington Tourism Development Authority and the Washington Harbor District Alliance. We all have to be in concert to bring vibrancy back to our central business district. It has been my opinion after seven months that these groups do work together while having different goals. We are continuously meeting to share ideas and checking schedules to make sure there is no conflict, so that we can better represent our constituents. Some cannot focus just on downtown because that would conflict with their direct mission. The WHDA can, but it is important to work with our sister organizations to be more effective.

There are many other groups that have to work together such as retailers, property owners, banks and city government, but we will discuss these later. The one we need to discuss is the consumers. Yes, our consumers are the most important element to a successful and vibrant downtown. We love to walk on the riverwalk and should, but our local merchants need you! Am I guilty? Better believe it! We do not need to turn our backs on the people we grew up with who are trying to make a living like many of our parents did. Please let me encourage all of you to help our friends out by shopping, dining and doing business in OUR downtown business district. There is so much to offer if we keep our business in town.

We can do this if we all work together. Our parents did so.

Working together is a thesis by itself and cannot be just a phrase. We all have to buy in, and together our revitalization efforts can become a reality. So until next week, please shop, dine and play in beautiful Washington, and if you have time…take a walk with the H-Rob.

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