The History of the Conway Downtown Partnership
The idea for the Conway Downtown Partnership emerged from weekly discussions held by a steering group made up of property owners, developers, and business professionals. They recognized a need for a proactive, private-sector organization that could represent the interests of the downtown community. After several months of deliberation, the Partnership was born with a mission to drive positive change and secure a bright economic future for downtown Conway.
The initial work of the CDP was to research other successful downtown private sector organizations around the state and country. The results revealed that private-sector leadership groups have been evolving in major downtowns across the country for more than 45 years. Research confirmed that when the public and private sectors collaborate, they gain a better understanding of each other’s needs and challenges. This, in turn, helps them to work together towards finding solutions that ensure the continued prosperity of the city’s core as the economic, cultural, and recreational center of the community.
Organizationally, the CDP was structured in a way that assures a broad representation of the downtown business community. Research revealed that all successful private-sector groups feature diversity in membership, with the principal officer or partner of the member firm serving as the representative of the group. This provides a forum for dialogue among the leaders of the Downtown Community, where each individual feels comfortable expressing their views in a closed-door environment.