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SPECIAL FEATURE Q  ,'($6 :( /29( { BY JEFF PERLMAN Editors Note: Lets face it, times are pretty tough. But nobody ever cut their way to success. You have to grow and new ideas can offer hope and hopefully prosperity. To get the conversation started, we have come up with 25 ideas for Delray. Let us know your thoughts and we will follow up with more ideas in the October edition.. September 2011 | www.AtlanticAveMagazine.com 52 1 Brand Delray Beach as a mecca for entrepreneurs. 2 To accomplish the above, create a business incuba- tor downtown and invite entrepreneurs to grow in Delray. 3 Create a business accelera- tor in Delray so that once companies are incubated they have someplace to go for the extra needed help. 4 Help existing businesses grow by offering classes and low or no-cost busi- ness advice at our own Old School Square. 5 Speaking of Old School Square, offer executive HGXFDWLRQ FHUWLFDWH DQG graduate programs in the class- rooms. Revenue for Old School Square and another tool for economic development. 6 Program the Old School Square Park---add shade, music and a few tasteful vendors. 7 At holiday time, create a holiday village at the Old School Square Park and DOORZ NLRVNV DQG SRSXS VWRUHV to capture crowds heading to the 100 foot tree. Give local retailers a free or reduced stall and charge RWKHUV IRU WKH PRQWKXVH IXQGV to offset holiday costs. 8 Creatively partner with the Bucky Dent Baseball School and bring fan- WDV\ FDPSV WR 'HOUD\ :LWK WKH schools extensive MLB contacts, tourists would come to Delray to play with their childhood heroes and enjoy the downtown after the game is over. 9 Install LED lighting in parking lots and parking garages. Its green and it saves money. 10 Begin to replace regular glass with hurricane resistant HQHUJ\ JODVVZKLFK XVHV VXQ - light to power LED lights. 11 Create a local Business Develop- ment Corporation enabling local residents to buy VKDUHV LQ ORFDO EXVLQHVVHV and invest in growing our own economy. 12 Reinvigorate the Southwest Plan by borrowing a page from Geoffrey Canadas Harlem Empowerment Zone playbook. Seek foundation monies to move beyond infrastructure to develop- ing Delrays vast human capital. 13 Arm the new eco- nomic development director with a rea-sonable budget to market Delray. :H KDYH WR JHW LQ WKH JDPH DQG that takes marketing and 14 Public Relations- --Delray needs a publicity strategy outside the local papers to attract investment and build awareness of our assets and opportunities. After all, we are the jewel of Palm Beach County. 15 Tie the new Arts :DUHKRXVH WR D broader strategy to create an artists and artisans vil- ODJH ZLWKLQ D YLOODJH LQ WKH 7KLUG Avenue area. 16 Help Delrays Prep and Sports develop a national reputa- tion for elite football training and make the 7 on 7 event one of the premier tournaments in the USA. 17 Convene an econom- ic development cha- rette to discuss our VFDO IXWXUH DQG MRE FUHDWLRQOHW the community decide the priori- ties and tie our spending to those priorities. 18 Team up with our neighbors Boca Raton and Boynton wherever possible: dispatch, economic development, market- ing to save money and leverage our strengths. 19 Get serious about jumpstarting invest- ment on Congress Avenue. The vision and zoning is in place, whats needed is execu- WLRQ DQG EHDXWLFDWLRQ 20 Add a Middle School of the Arts at Carver Middle School and tie it into all of our arts activities from Old School Square to the Creative City Col- laborative to the new Plumosa School of the Arts. 21 Bring a branch of a university down- town and one to Congress Avenue. 22 Revisit the North Federal Highway Plan and come up with a new vision for the 21st Century. 23 Host a competition and have our local techies develop some interesting local apps. 24 Develop a formal, aggressive and powerful Shop Local Campaign. 25 Add entrepreneur- ship academies to Atlantic High and Village Academy. 25 IDEAS . WE LOVE