Under the rays of the sun, the Delle, France city center and Raymond Forni Square is a small town center the way we like them. Pretty and classic with its outdoor cafe seating, its little fountain, and the business owner who gossips with her friends on the doorstep of her store. A nice photo which, after all, lacks life and movement. "People prefer to go to Belfort or Montbeliard, larger cities where there are more choices," says Eric, a regular customer to Delle's small businesses.
It's due to this that a reinvigoration plan proposed by the region made its way on the agenda of the Community Council of the Community of Communes of the Southern Territory last week. In order to revitalize Delle's town center, including Giromagny and Beaucourt, the region could allocate financial aid of up to 50,000 euros (roughly $54,875) per commune.
This is a sum that Delle's business owners would voluntarily invest in to bring excitement to their town center. From her shoe store on Raymond Forni Square, Nounette teems with ideas: "Within the square, we should reinstitute a small market once a week from 3 pm to 8 pm when people get out of work. It could include local products, artisans, and more. And we could also add parking spots. We have a pleasant town center, we need to make it alive. In addition, we are a border city, so it all has to go smoothly for Delle's small businesses."
Reestablishing neighborhood businesses is also an idea by Laura, a former business owner in the city who has come to chat with Nounette. "We need some more basic businesses. A nice pastry shop, although there are already two that have closed down, and a butcher shop because there are only supermarkets. And frankly, neighborhood businesses are great because there is contact with the client. Delle is a very pleasant small city. With Switzerland nearby, there is real potential here," comments Laura. Others would also like to see a tobacco shop or an optician, businesses that are currently in existence but at a distance from the town center.
Nounette, who is also the secretary of the Business Owners Association, says they are counting on taking all their ideas up to town hall. The elected officials should initially come up with an accurate assessment as well as a development project, something that could then culminate in the signing of a three-year revitalization contract.
Do you have any ideas about how to reinvigorate Delle's small town center? What are some economic development solutions for small city centers? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French on France Bleue, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.