WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington will no longer fund the “Bring It! Downtown” initiative.
In an email sent Thursday, city spokesman Dylan Lee says the Downtown Business Alliance, Wilmington Downtown Inc. and the city couldn’t come to a consensus on a letter of agreement.
“Bring It! Downtown” had six people on its board, three from DBA and three from WDI.
The group spent $60,000 over the past 18 months on items like banners and a video highlighting Downtown Wilmington. The money comes from downtown parking fees and is set aside for marketing downtown.
Lee says the $30,000 earmarked now will go to improved signage in the Central Business District.
Downtown business owner and chair of the campaign Joan Loch says even without the money “Bring it! Downtown” will continue.
“If that team wants to continue working on the marketing part and reaching out to the community to embrace the campaign, they can continue doing that,” Loch said. “All it means is that a piece of the pie as far as the money would disappear if that is the choice of City Council. I do not think that will be the case.”
But Lee’s e-mail says the “Bring it! Downtown” campaign has been removed from Tuesday’s City Council agenda, and city staff has recommended pulling the funding from being used in an ad campaign.
The e-mail goes on to say that city encourages downtown businesses to continue to use the brand in their marketing.
Loch says the branding is effective, and the campaign will continue through a team of businesses.
“Bring It! Downtown” got some unwanted attention earlier this year when an investigation revealed it had misspent thousands of dollars throwing a video premier party at the Downtown Hilton. Wilmington Magazine, one of the sponsors of the event, ended up having to foot the bill.