BELLEVILLE – Local businesses in downtown Belleville are hopeful for the opportunities that a positive image campaign will bring.
There is not much detail right now about how the positive image campaign is going to work, as it is still in the preliminary stages.
QNet News went downtown to speak with two local business owners to ask what they’re hoping for from the campaign.
Kathryn Brown is the owner of Kate’s Kitchen,  a shop located downtown at 271 Front St. She is also the chair of the retail committee where she is responsible for looking after the retail outlets, their promotions and events. Brown had just joined the board of directors of the Business Development Improvement Area  in August.
“How do we get people to stop talking about the construction downtown and to start talking about all the great shops and all the great restaurants?” she said.
Sharon Huckle runs a few businesses downtown, including a hair salon called The Cat’s Meow  located at 20 Victoria Ave. She is also a part of the BDIA subcommittee of promotions and marketing. She told QNet News that as a salon owner she has not seen many customers deterred by the construction. On the other hand, she says she has seen a decline in business at her ice cream shop, Nice Ice Baby.
“Downtown Belleville has gone through some tough times and it’s developed a bad rep. It’s really unfortunate because there’s still lots of great things about downtown.”
Brown said that the campaign is an opportunity for the BDIA to work closely with City Hall, especially the city’s manager of economic and strategic initiatives.
Brown also noted that a lot of the business owners downtown use social media as a way of promoting their own positive image of downtown.
She is hopeful for the future of downtown Belleville.
“If anything comes from this, it is that our best kept secret becomes a little bit more known for the tourists that come to Belleville.”