Happenings in the Heart of the Bull City
May 2021
  • News
  • Event Highlights
  • Biz Tools: Traffic Report
  • Biz Tools: Pedestrian Counter Stats
  • Ambassador Stories
  • Clean & Safe Stats
  • Meetings, Trainings & Forums
  • Welcomes and Goodbyes
State of Downtown Durham Snapshot and Video Report Available Online

The State of Downtown Durham virtual summit was packed with information. Our video report and snapshot of downtown's economic development over the past year are now available to view and download.
Download the Snapshot.
Check out our video report.

Durham residents who work downtown may be eligible for free daytime parking for up to three months thanks to a new pilot program offered by the city. The program will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for three months, so apply now!

The city and county have many helpful resources to help you stay in the know and share your thoughts about development projects happening downtown and beyond.

Here are some highlights:

City-County Land Use Engagement: Find active zoning and annexation projects, and share your input. Get applications and early assistance, submit applications, pay fees and research property and zoning.

Development Services Center: The Development Services Center is a one-stop-shop for Durham city and county development services. This page provides more information about the DSC and its 40 Partner Work Units.

ENGAGEDurham: ENGAGEDurham is an engagement initiative to ensure all Durham voices are involved in city and county projects. This coordinated effort focuses on two major, multi-year projects: the new Durham Comprehensive Plan and the updated Durham County Transit Plan.

Durham Belt Line Trail: Information and updates on the multi-use trail in an abandoned Norfolk and Southern rail bed, connecting pedestrians and cyclists from North Durham to the Ellerbe Creek Trail network and to downtown.

GoDurham Better Bus Project: This project will design street, sidewalk and bus stop improvements that provide safe access to bus stops, enhance comfort at bus stops and improve bus service on GoDurham routes.

Which 31 nonprofits and community organizations should receive up to $50,000 for COVID-19 response? Beginning today, City of Durham residents can vote to help select the winning projects.

Earlier this year, more than 60 Durham-connected nonprofits and community organizations submitted grant applications to Participatory Budgeting Durham to request funding to support community needs stemming from COVID-19. Now, they've been narrowed down to 31 grant proposals, and residents are invited to vote to select the winning organizations to implement their projects over the next two fiscal years.

Discover Durham, NCCU, Durham Tech and the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development teamed up to create a comprehensive hospitality workforce development survey assessing the staffing needs and challenges of Durham businesses, having heard anecdotes that staff recruitment and retention have been especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic recovery period. The results of this survey will allow Discover Durham to more concisely identify how they can best support the rebound of the hospitality workforce. The estimated completion time is 15-20 minutes and it is recommended that you complete it on a computer for a smoother, more efficient experience.

Breastfeed Durham identifies local companies, organizations and community partners that support breastfeeding/lactating families. If your company does so, now is your chance to be recognized. Being designated as breastfeeding-friendly is good for business: people are be more likely to take their baby to a restaurant that has explicitly expressed support, and employee retention and job satisfaction are higher when employees are supported in their breastfeeding goals. Participating businesses will receive a window cling to announce their support, and they will be featured on Durham County Public Health's social media.

COVID-19 Resources and Information

• Up-to-Date Information on Durham County COVID-19 Cases
The Durham County Coronavirus Data Hub is a great one stop shop that provides up-to-date counts of coronavirus cases in Durham County. This easy to use dashboard includes total confirmed cases by day, demographic information and weekly data analyses that indicate whether the rate of infection in the county is going up or down.

You can also watch weekly updates from the Department of Public Health Director
Rodney Jenkins on the department's YouTube channel.

• Resources and Merchant Status Updates
We continue to update the aggregated resources and information for businesses and residents on our site, as well as the lists of downtown restaurants and retailers that are open and offering outdoor seating, curbside or delivery service, online shopping or gift cards. In addition, our President and CEO sends regular emails to businesses and organizations to help them stay abreast of government policies, important webinars and grant and loan opportunities.

To check out the great things happening downtown, visit the
The Event Calendar is the place for downtown retailers, restaurants and residents
to promote events. Submit your upcoming events today.
Purchase a Crawl Pass and experience a 'taste' of participating businesses. The Crawl will distribute 100% of net proceeds equally among participating businesses.
The American Red Cross is at a critical need for blood Nationwide, with supplies dwindling and need at a emergency levels.
Beats n Bars Festival and Candid Yams have partnered together to curate black cinema at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The May 28 selection is Black Panther.
The Durham Art Market is back with local food trucks, artists, vendors and COVID precautions in place.
Restaurant - Tea/Japanese
807 E Main St. Suite 2-150
Contact: Nicole Tse
Art gallery
118 1/2 E Main St.
Contact: Michelle Gonzalez-Green

We were devastated to learn of Michelle Gonzalez-Green's passing. Her exhibition, "Call Your Ancestor" was a powerful and moving part of our Public Space Project series last year. We extend our condolences to her family and all who loved her.
The Traffic Report lists events and happenings that may affect foot traffic and/or parking. It includes road closures and major events happening downtown.

Subscribe to the calendar or view the report online for the most up-to-date information.

Location 1: Foster on the Park
Visitors per Day

Average Week
Visitors per Hour

Busiest Day

6 - 7 p.m.
Busiest Hour

Total Visitors

DDI's pedestrian counters, installed to assist businesses in determining appropriate hours and staffing levels, are gradually coming back online with a new vendor, and more locations will be reactivated in the coming months. For additional information, like hourly counts or trends, BID constituents may request a custom report.

Welcome Back! Ambassador Team Update: May 2021
Erik Nystrom, Clean and Safe Operations Manager
In addition to pastel-painted eggs, candy and smiles on our children’s faces, it looks like the Easter Bunny brought lots of families out to enjoy our downtown with the warm weather! Easter weekend was one of the busiest we’ve had in several months, with lots of people out and about enjoying everything our downtown has to offer. This was especially noticeable in the Central Park area where the warm, pleasant weather combined with several tasty food options made for a popular gathering place for everyone.
The easing of COVID restrictions, higher vaccination rates and pent-up demand from cabin fever caused the largest spike in pedestrian traffic on weekends – especially Sundays – that we’ve seen in a very long time. In fact, there have been so many folks out enjoying our downtown on Sundays recently that we have scheduled more ambassadors to be here to keep everything clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Our team has been busy with spring landscaping work recently, especially weeding and mowing, and these efforts will continue throughout the growing season. Watch for our annual spring and summer plants and flower planters, going in this first week of May. I’ll be happy to share information about these plant species, so feel free to email me if you are curious.
In addition to landscaping, the team has been kept rather busy with graffiti removal. Like the rest of Durham, the BID has gotten its share of graffiti vandalism over the last few weeks. We are equipped to clean all the graffiti that the BID is hit with, and we will always make it a high priority. The quicker we remove graffiti, the less likely the vandal will re-tag the same spots. These incidents appear to happen in cycles over long periods of time, and we are here to take care of it.
Although COVID cases have steadily declined over the last several weeks, and vaccination levels continue to increase, COVID is still here, and we cannot let our guard down. With the easing of restrictions, we are all truly happy to see more and more people and families back in and enjoying our downtown. The Ambassador Team reminds you all to continue to be vigilant with COVID hygiene so that we can all protect each other and ensure we keep moving in the right direction. We are Durham proud and Durham strong, and we are building back together, one day at a time. Be safe and we’ll see you downtown!

Editor's Note:

He's too modest to toot his own horn, but we're very happy to note that Erik was recently awarded Mid-Market Account of the Year by The Budd Group. Congratulations Erik, and well-deserved!
Downtown Durham's dedicated Ambassadors Team provides much needed clean and safe services. From sweeping and cleaning the streets, to providing directions for visitors, to jumpstarting car batteries, our Ambassadors are here to help. Have questions? Just stop one and ask. Need to submit a service request? Call 919-682-BULL (2855) or submit a request online.

Clean and Safe Service
Brickwork Laying (Square Feet)
Trash Bags Collected
Graffiti Removed - Paint
Graffiti Removed - Stickers
Customer Service (Directions, Battery Jumps, Etc.)
Panhandlers/Outreach/Social Service Referral
March 2021
May 3, 17; June 7, 21
May 6, 20; June 10
Regular Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7 p.m.
Work Sessions: Two Thursdays prior to Council meetings
at 1 p.m.

Meetings may be held virtually while the Safer at Home Order is in effect
May 10, 24; June 14, 28
May 3; June 7
Regular Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 7 p.m.
Work Sessions: 1st Monday at 9 a.m.

Meetings may be held virtually while the Safer at Home Order is in effect
Downtown Durham, Inc.
115 Market St. • #213
Durham, NC 27701
This newsletter serves the businesses, residents and property owners
in the Downtown Durham Business Improvement District.
We're grateful for their support of DDI and downtown Durham.

We also thank the City of Durham for entrusting DDI to provide the BID services
that keep downtown Durham a clean, safe and vibrant place.

Want to know if an address is within the BID?

Support downtown businesses with the SpendaBull gift card.

Your feedback on this newsletter is welcome.
Contact gina@downtowndurham.com with suggestions or comments.

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For up-to-the-minute information on happenings in the heart of the Bull City: