Downtown business owners hope for middle ground with Council on signage


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For months now Wilmington City Council has looked at regulating signage in business storefronts. At tonight’s City Council meeting, business owners hope they can find some kind of middle ground with city leaders.

Through an online survey and multiple public meetings, downtown stakeholders said they would compromise with 50 percent window coverage. At a recent public hearing the city’s planning commission recommended 25 percent coverage.

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Small business owners we spoke with today say there will be some backlash at tonights council meeting because of that number. They say the signage should be based on the needs of each individual retailer.

Terry Espy, who owns an art gallery downtown, says she does not need the 50 percent coverage, but she supports the downtown business owners who do.

“We’re here standing behind the rest of the retailers down here,” Espy said. “The goal is to get people down here that feel good about being downtown and reflect a really good image.”

We called multiple members of Wilmington City Council to see how they feel about the sign ordinance, but we either did not get calls back or they were unavailable.