Our Towns

Downtown Youngstown Partnership Sets Upcoming Events

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Downtown Youngstown Partnership, which launched last summer, will hold a fundraiser this week in addition to its regular meeting next week. The organization also plans a new monthly service project, its chairwoman said.

The group, an arm of Youngstown CityScape that aims to unite downtown stakeholders, will meet at 5 p.m. March 28 at The Federal.

During the meeting, in addition to updates from Michael McGiffin, the city’s coordinator of events, and First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver, the partnership will announce a service project that will take place the first Saturday of the month.

“We will identify an area of downtown where we will do a cleanup or another type of project,” said Ellie Platt, DYP chairwoman and the owner of Platt Insurance & Financial, which has an office downtown. The first monthly project is scheduled for April 1.

Next week’s meeting also will feature a brief presentation by a representative of The Federal, the restaurant where the meeting is taking place, who will discuss how downtown improvements have helped its business.

“We highlight a specific business at every meeting. This is an opportunity for downtown stakeholders to learn a great deal about specific businesses downtown,” Phil Kidd, DYP service project coordinator. Kidd, associate director of Youngstown CityScape, serves as the parent agency’s liaison to the organization.

This week, on St. Patrick’s Day, DYP and CityScape will host Sham-Rock on the Block in a heated tent downtown. The event, which will begin at noon, will feature traditional Irish food, drinks, live music including bagpipers, games and contests. Admission to the tent is $5, with net proceeds to be directed to DYP, Platt said.

“We won’t have any amplified sound until 4 p.m. so as not to distract downtown business that day,” she said. The event is sponsored by The Federal, V2 Wine Bar & Trattoria and Great Lakes Brewing Company.

The fundraiser is a good way for DYP “to get some money in the door” so that when a group of business owners pitch a problem – such as the need for a downtown map or advertising, or a beautification project, for example – the organization has resources to address it.

The organization, which met for the first time last June, has “a lot of momentum,” as demonstrated at its January meeting, Platt said.

“There was a good crowd but also a lot of diversity – new faces, new businesses,” she said. “It reflects what is happening downtown in general.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.