Happenings in the Heart of the Bull City
July 2021
  • News
  • Event Highlights
  • Biz Tools: Traffic Report
  • Welcomes and Goodbyes
  • Ambassador Stories
  • Clean & Safe Stats
  • Meetings, Trainings & Forums
A Message from DDI President/CEO, Nicole J. Thompson

We're a small, close-knit team at DDI. So it is always hard to say goodbye to one of our own, even when they are moving on to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Please join me in wishing Melissa Muir, our Director of Business Relations, nothing but the best as she leaves DDI to become a full-time foster mom.

If you had the pleasure of working with Melissa, you know that she wore many hats in the organization. For the time being, the DDI team is sharing Melissa's job duties. Anna Branly is the initial point of contact for business relations questions or concerns.
Melissa has truly been the heart of DDI. In her 15 years with the organization, she developed close relationships with many of the business owners downtown. She cares for every downtown constituent like family, and advocated for all of them tirelessly. When tragedy struck Brightleaf, Melissa made it her personal mission to walk through the district and speak to as many as she could for as long as they needed to talk.

We will all miss Melissa's encyclopedic knowledge of downtown and DDI. And we will miss having her wacky sense of humor crack us up almost every day.
But we won't have to miss her support for downtown. Melissa has always been, and will always be, one of downtown's biggest cheerleaders.

Melissa, thank you for giving DDI your time, your expertise, your joy and your heart over the past 15 years.

We'll see you around downtown.

DDI Launches Bull City Heart Beats

Downtown is the heart of the Bull City, and our small business owners are its beats. We want everyone to get to know the amazing people behind downtown's shops, restaurants and service businesses. So we've launched Bull City Heart Beats: video vignettes that introduce business owners as they share a little insight into themselves, their businesses and why they chose downtown Durham.
Our first Bull City Heart Beat video features Cecilia Henaine de Davis of Cecy's Gallery, and she's a rock star! We'll be releasing a new video every few weeks. Find them on our website or on the DDI YouTube channel, or scan the QR code in the window of a participating business.
Bull City Heart Beats videos are free for business owners within the Business Improvement District. They're another way DDI markets our incredible downtown. Interested in being featured in a BCHB video? Enter your info here.

Alternative Use for Parking and Public Spaces Survey Results Are In

The City of Durham is discussing whether to make the expanded outdoor dining program permanent, so DDI launched a survey to gather feedback from downtown constituents and visitors, as well as a separate survey for owners of street-level businesses downtown. We received more than 700 responses (693 for the general survey, 59 for the street-level businesses survey). Here is a breakdown of the responses to the key question:

What is your opinion of on-street parking being designated for other uses permanently?
General Survey
Very Positive: 56%
Positive: 25%
Neutral: 9%
Negative: 7%
Very Negative: 3%
Street-Level Businesses
Very Positive: 38%
Positive: 21%
Neutral: 11%
Negative: 20%
Very Negative: 10%
Survey summaries were forwarded to key decision-makers at the city and are available on the DDI website.

We will keep you posted as the discussion progresses.

Help Keep Downtown Safe: A Message from Durham PD
As Durham is growing and expanding our incredible downtown, we need your help to keep the community safe and deter crime. The first step is to stay informed, by both your neighbors and the police department. A strong network of open communication and residents actively involved is key to preventing and reducing crime. We rely on the community to be the eyes and ears for our officers. If you see or hear something suspicious, please call 911 or the non-emergency number, 919-560-4600. This will help us be in the right place at the right time.  
The second step is to stay connected by joining community listservs or your neighborhood NextDoor group. Get to know your District Commander and follow DPD on social media. You can also set up crime alerts through communitycrimemap.com.
Finally, we want to reduce crimes of opportunity, and we know successful crimes of opportunity tend to repeat, so reducing the initial crime has far reaching effects. A few simple steps can help:
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Place items in the trunk prior to parking to prevent looky-loos.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Lock your car, and do not leave valuables in view.
  • Bring bicycles inside: They are in high demand and can be easily stolen, even with locks.
  • Stay informed, and if you see something, say something 

Together we can make a difference!
Interested in Free Marketing for Your Downtown Business? Join SpendaBull

SpendaBull is an e-gift card that's spendable (get it?) in downtown Durham only! It's a great way to encourage downtown shopping, and it costs you nothing to participate. The process is easy: Cards are purchased online and then emailed or texted to your customers. You process the gift card by keying in the number like a credit card. Purchases are paid to you through your normal credit card settlement, minus the usual Mastercard CNP processing fee.

Accepting SpendaBull means free marketing for your business, as DDI publicizes the program with ads, contests (like this one in partnership with Durham Magazine) and giveaways.

Since the program launched in late 2019, shoppers have purchased more than $40,000 in SpendaBull cards and redeemed just over $10,000 at participating businesses. That's nearly $30,000 waiting to be spent. Getting started is quick and easy, so sign up to participate today!

Working Downtown: Resources for Employers and Job Hunters
Hiring? Post Your Positions on the DDI Jobs Board

Is your business hiring a position based in downtown Durham? Post it on "Who's Hiring Downtown?," a jobs board created by DDI for employers located within the Business Improvement District. The interface is simple, so it’s easy to post. Email Gina Rozier with any questions.

Looking for Work? Check Out the Discover Durham/ATC Food & Beverage Job Fair

The results of Discover Durham's recent survey revealed an urgent need for staffing within the local hospitality sector, especially in food and beverage operations. In response to this shortage, Discover Durham and the American Tobacco Campus are hosting an in-person food and beverage job fair on July 13 from 3-7 p.m. at Bay 7.
To check out the great things happening downtown, visit the
The Event Calendar is the place for downtown venues, retailers, restaurants and residents
The Black Farmers’ Market happens rain or shine monthly at Golden Belt to provide access to fresh foods from farms directly to customers, and to create a strong Black-led food system right in the heart of NC.
The Glass Jug has purchased a limited number of white t-shirts with their navy Glass Jug Beer Lab logo that are just begging for a splash of color. Tie dye one to take home while you enjoy a beer!
PS118 Gallery's current exhibit features botanical studies of form and color, fantasy explorations, narrative storytelling, gestural figure drawings and detailed pen and ink works by this Hillsborough-based artist.
We’re spreading the love and moving The Streetery to locations throughout downtown on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month! On July 10 we’ll be at Central Park (1-9 p.m.), and on July 24 (12-9 p.m.) we'll be at Main and Parrish with added outdoor seating and live performers. Join us to shop, carry out, dine in or dine out.
Start your Third Friday off right! GoDurham and DDI have relaunched The Mix with music from DJ Piddipat and food trucks at Durham Station on July 16 and the third Friday of every month through October.
Visit galleries and other art venues downtown and beyond on July 16 and every third Friday of the month! Find a complete list of Third Friday events, and submit your own at thirdfridaydurham.org. Watch DDI's social media (links at the bottom of this newsletter) for news about buskers and other live performers.
Restaurant - pizza
219 Hood St.
Contact: Anthony Guerra

Market - bulk dry goods and personal care
600 Foster St.
Contact: T.M. Land
711 Rigsbee Ave.
Contact: Renee Batchelor
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.

Welcome Back! Ambassador Team Mid-Summer Update
Erik Nystrom, Clean and Safe Operations Manager
Summer greetings from your Ambassador Team! We hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July holiday and enjoyed a return to more familiar celebrations and gatherings. Although we are not completely back to normal from the pandemic, it feels 100% better than it did the same time last year! It has been heartwarming for the whole team to see so many people back out and enjoying everything our downtown has to offer.

On a recent Saturday night while I was downtown enjoying dinner with my family, there were dozens of people of all ages out and about. This trend continues to grow every week as more people become fully vaccinated, and it has been wonderful to see everyone’s smiles again.

We finally got some help from Mother Nature over the last three weeks by receiving some much-needed rain. Not only did this perk up all the annual flowers, plants and turfgrass, but it also helped wash away the remaining pollen from our May-June dry spell. And no complaints about the several June days with cooler than normal temperatures either!

In addition to the great weather, we noted a decrease in graffiti throughout the BID, and we are hopeful that this trend will continue. We are still seeing large increases in trash volume in our streetscape cans, especially in areas inside the loop and in and around Durham Central Park. This is a positive sign that we are returning to pre-Covid levels of activity and then some.
We want to thank all of you for helping to keep litter in its place by continuing to use our trash cans. As mentioned last month, we have stepped up our coverage to include Sundays and doubled the number of times we are changing trash bags in hot spots to ensure the BID stays clean and safe.

Your Ambassador Team wishes you all well and we hope you continue to have a fun and safe summer downtown.
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
May 2021
August 2, 16
July 22; August 5, 19
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
July 12; August 9; 23
August 2
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
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 [email protected] with suggestions or comments.

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