Uniting Economic Development and Community Relations
Essentially, the Rockledge Community Redevelopment Agency is intrinsically involved with performing two fundamental functions - pursuing economic development opportunities and fostering positive community relations. When these two activities can be combined, it results in a synergy that is constructive for businesses and fun and enjoyable for residents.
The Food Truck Bazaar
In an effort to promote and draw attention to one of the Redevelopment District’s struggling retail centers, the Agency hosted Central Florida’s “The Food Truck Bazaar” at Barton Commons Shopping Center in December 2012. With over 1,000 attendees, the turnout was remarkable, and the Center was pleased with the exposure and publicity it was able to capture as a result of the event.
A second event was held at a different retail center in late January of 2013, and attendance practically doubled. Being able to promote the retail and commercial of the Redevelopment District is paramount in the Redevelopment Agency's efforts.
Subsequent events of this nature have been held, and they have certainly become community favorites. In addition, the retail centers continue to garner exposure and publicity at no cost to them.
Rockledge Night with the Brevard County Manatees
With a keen understanding of the importance of partnerships, the City of Rockledge and the Community Redevelopment Agency have found an exceptional one in the Brevard County Manatees. A “Class A” Advanced Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Brevard County Manatees provide a pleasing source of entertainment for residents throughout Brevard County.
In cooperation with Manatees’ staff, Rockledge holds “Rockledge Night" annually at Space Coast Stadium. Through this promotion, Rockledge businesses are afforded the opportunity to purchase, for a nominal cost, a package that includes game tickets, a table-top display on game night, announcements on the public-address system throughout the game, participation in the “Parade of Businesses” and listings on the Choose Rockledge and Manatees’ Web sites. Merchants, service providers and healthcare professionals can distribute the game tickets any way they wish, but generally they provide them to customers or clients free of charge.
Everyone benefits from this special evening—
Rockledge businesses receive an abundance of exposure, publicity and increased walk-in traffic by advertising they have free tickets available;
Residents get to enjoy an entertaining evening at no cost; and
The Manatees augment their attendee base and also garner a considerable amount of exposure.
This is yet another example of the synergy that is created when economic development is united with community engagement.