Lyndsey Dixon has been hired as Business Outreach and Community Coordinator to assist the primarily all-volunteer, nonprofit, grassroots economic development team at Gold Beach Main Street (GBMS).
Dixon is a familiar face around town, even after leaving for several years to attend college, then serving 6 months in Ghana with the Peace Corps. Dixon has a bachelor’s degree in applied economics with a minor in English from Oregon State University. She grew up in Gold Beach and graduated from Gold Beach High School.
GBMS has made major visual upgrades to the town’s main street by installing benches, mini-parks, and other landscaping to beautify the town, intending to make it more inviting for tourists. They also landed the city on the Oregon Mural Trail map with an Oregon Is Magic mural installed on the Interior Coverups building last fall at the south end of town.
The local organization had requested another Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) member through AmeriCorps but didn’t receive a replacement to fill the position vacated by the RARE member who finished her assignment last fall. To fill the void, the Gold Beach Urban Renewal District approved funding Dixon’s position with the funds that had been appropriated for the RARE position for six months. A pending grant application may provide an additional 6 months.
Dixon will primarily be writing grants, organizing activities and providing a presence in the office for people to contact GBMS. This is only her third week on the job but she has some ideas she would like to implement.
“The whole Main Street national program has four sub-branches, which are design, economic vitality, outreach and promotion,” Dixon said. “Something I hope to work on more with the organization — they are already doing a great job with design — is the outreach and promotions part to coordinate more with what the state is doing.”
One idea from elsewhere in the state to deal with empty storefronts is to take historical photos that have been enlarged and place them in the windows.
“That’s actually doable,” she said.
One of her current projects is creating business spotlights on Facebook. She is highlighting businesses that are in Gold Beach or nearby. In March, for Women’s History Month, she plans to highlight women-owned businesses.
She will also be working with the committee for the Party at the Port for the 4th of July. Dixon wants to develop t-shirts and merchandise that commemorate the 130th anniversary since the town changed its name from Ellensburg to Gold Beach.
Meanwhile, she’s writing up the interim reports for grants that have already been received, such as the banners for main street businesses that are nearly complete. The banners will draw attention to businesses and be displayed when they are open. GBMS also has six more benches coming, with deliberations about where to place them, with the goal of balancing the distribution of them throughout the town.
Two facade improvement grants are coming to completion. Once those are finished, they will be able to apply for more major grant funding from Oregon Main Street to fix up some of the other town buildings. But smaller grants are available for projects, she said. Another of the projects GBMS is working on is installing some sculptural artwork that’s made out of “sea trash.”
“I’m really impressed with what they’ve done so far,” she said.
“I want to see Gold Beach succeed. It’s hard to be here in this age range,” Dixon said. “There’s not a lot offered for 20- to 30-year-olds. I really want to see Gold Beach succeed, and maybe I can do it through this position.”
Contact Gold Beach Main Street by email: firstname.lastname@example.org