DIBA brings attention to the retailers of downtown
The Daniel Island Business Association (DIBA) has been a harbinger of retail for the island over the past 11 years. Providing networking opportunities and bringing light to the businesses of Daniel Island, DIBA has found a simple and effective way to promote the restaurants and retailers of the island. How? Maps offered via sidewalk “sandwich boards” outlining the businesses dispersed throughout the downtown area.
“It’s all about promoting to those visitors, primarily the idea was to the visitors, the depth of the retail and the restaurants that we have on the island, and ultimately trying to help those restaurants and retailers make more money, because when they’re doing well, others want to be here,” said DIBA Sponsorship Director Pete Harper. “So, it drives a deeper level of participation and retail on Daniel Island.”
So far, the directional promotion seems to be working, added Harper. DIBA updates the maps annually to keep them current, and posts them in spots with high foot traffic.
“When we’ve got big events going on, we stay a little bit busier,” said Tropical Smoothie manager Jon Parkman. Tropical Smoothie is not a DIBA affiliate.
While DIBA is focused on all types of businesses on the island, Harper believes that retail is one of the most essential things to publicize.
“I think it helps not only provide more options for residents here to shop locally, but also to provide more value to the island, more options for people to shop, dine, and eat,” he stated.
“People really want to find reasons to stay on the island,” said Fit Culture Owner Sarah Sands. “For DIBA, business owners on the island are really working to help other business owners.” Sands added that the biggest benefit of her DIBA membership was getting the support of other local businesses to promote Fit Culture.
“DIBA is a great networking opportunity for business people and those who want to be connected to business and support business on the island,” said Bin 526 Owner and DIBA member Mike White. “It’s great for our island community to support each other.”
In the last two decades, development has turned the island’s empty buildings into businesses hungry for customers. In response, DIBA is attempting to figure out new ways sustain businesses in addition to promoting them. Harper said that, even though they are going through a brainstorming process, the larger mission for his organization is still the same.
“That really is the objective, to be a local self-contained environment that everybody can get what they want here locally, and they don’t have to drive off Daniel Island to do it.”