ROCKINGHAM — Downtown boosters will name a new featured business of the year next Tuesday, and Friday is the last day to register for the Rockingham Downtown Corp.’s annual meeting where the honoree will be revealed.
The RDC’s annual meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Liberty Place on Washington Street in downtown Rockingham, said RDC President Susan Kelly. Tickets are free and can be reserved by calling Kelly at 910-997-8255.
As of Christmas, Kelly said only one business had turned in a nomination form, but two other businesses were nominated by Dec. 31, the cutoff date.
State Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, who owns the former R.W. Goodman Co. furniture store, will be the guest speaker for this year’s festivities.
“He’ll talk about growing up in a family that owned a business in downtown Rockingham and the changes he’s seen in his lifetime,” said Kelly.
Last year, Dairy Queen was selected as the award recipient among several nominees. This year, however, Rockingham Hardware, Scholl Mechanical and Pattan’s Downtown Grille are in the running for the top prize.
The recognition program seeks to highlight businesses that have promoted shopping or dining in downtown Rockingham and contributed to the richness of the business community.
“We’re hoping to celebrate what’s happened this year with the Rockingham Downtown Corp.,” said Kelly. “It’s always a good opportunity to network outside of our usual luncheon setting.”
Although a business must be located in the vicinity of downtown in order to compete for this prize, Kelly said, firms that are not located downtown but still want to support Rockingham’s historic shopping district can join the RDC.
“That’s the focus of our organization is the downtown area, but they don’t have to necessarily be downtown to be a part of our organization,” Kelly said in December.
She also invites people who might be interested in the Rockingham Downtown Corp. and what downtown Rockingham is all about to come to the Jan. 19 meeting.
The RDC was behind several high-profile projects over the past year including the Shop Small campaign in November — which encouraged patrons to take photos themselves with business owners, staff, merchandise or signs and post them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — and the donation of the 11-acre Great Falls Mill property alongside U.S. 74 by Walter Parsons.
“This is to remind people what the RDC does,” said Kelly, “and encourage other people to get involved.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.