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Proposal gives city virtual Main Street

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GREENFIELD — Greenfield Main Street wants downtown merchants to consider going virtual.

At its Feb. 6 meeting, the group plans to pitch a marketing proposal that would allow downtown business and building owners to feature virtual tours of their properties and ventures over the Internet.

David Dellacca, Greenfield Main Street board president, said the idea came about in the course of brainstorming new ways to bring businesses to the city and downtown in particular.

“One of the things we’ve taken a firm step forward on is promoting downtown as a destination location,” Dellacca said.

ShopMainStreets.com, based in Nashville, Tenn., promotes historic districts in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.

For a fee, the company provides a navigable street-view map of a downtown district along with exterior photos and 360-degree interior virtual tours of participating businesses along with web content. In Indiana, the company currently has virtual web tours in Seymour, Madison and Brownstown.

Dellacca said in addition to seeking downtown merchants’ input on whether sufficient interest exists to pursue the effort, the organization will need to garner enough support to make the program affordable.

“While we liked the concept, it’s a bit too pricey for us now,” Dellacca said.

Dellacca said his group is exploring a partnership with the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs’ Indiana Main Street Program and negotiating support with other community groups in an effort to reduce the cost of program for local business.

The initiative would be limited to a one-year agreement, Dellacca said, in order to give the group an opportunity to evaluate the marketing plan’s performance.

“It would probably take six to eight months to examine the return and determine whether it works for us or not,” he said.

Greenfield Main Street’s Feb. 6 meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, One Courthouse Plaza.

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