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Merchants seek input on new identity

ARLINGTON As North Olympic Avenue is nearing completion, the merchants and business owners along the street are discussing a new identity.
The Downtown Arlington Merchants group has announced a brainstorming and information gathering session during its regularly scheduled evening meeting, on the second Wednesday of the month, Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The group of business owners have been meeting weekly, from 8 to 9 a.m. at Little Italy with one evening meeting a month. All business owners are invited to come to the next meeting, Sept. 12, to contribute ideas and provide feedback on a potential new name, Downtown Arlington Business Association, or something to be determined by the group, which will likely be affiliated in some manner with the Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce.
The group is considering a new name, a new mission and a new vision for itself and the group of people who are doing business in downtown Arlington.
With the momentum of the street project behind them, some new members have joined in the morning meetings that in recent years have been focused on planning events like the annual car show last year and the May Hunt and October Hunt garage sales. They repaired the merchants sign board over the merchant parking lot and have maintained public notices there to benefit all the merchants downtown. They have installed bike racks and made other contributions to the community.
Now, with a few new members around the table, such as Jeannie Watanabe of 360 Home and Norma Jean Syrie, of the Olympic Escrow office, there is discussion about widening the scope, from retail merchants to all businesses around downtown Arlington, including West Avenue and beyond.
We are planning to spend most of the time gathering and writing down everyones ideas and vision for the Arlington Merchant/Business Group. We truly consider your opinion extremely important on this, said Watanabe, who is helping spearhead the effort.
The topics for the evening meeting include
Vision for Arlington Businesses/Merchant Group.
Ideas, projects that this business group should focus on.
The next step after this will be to work on building a structure within this group that will allow us to define our mission and prioritize the ideas/tasks that the group comes up with at this meeting and in the future, Watanabe said. So please attend.
Anyone who cant attend is asked to e-mail or write down their ideas and submit them to Jeannie at 360 Home, The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Little Italy, 318 N. Olympic Ave.

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