SIDNEY — An organization which has served downtown Sidney and its businesses is being dissolved effective Jan. 1, 2017.
For the past 15-plus years, the Downtown Sidney Business Association has operated under the oversight of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Following considerable thought and planning, the Downtown Association will be dissolved as an operating department of the chamber. In its place a new entity is being established under the name Sidney Alive which will operate with an expanded role and purpose.
Sidney Alive is a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose mission is “To nurture the growth of downtown Sidney while preserving our resources, increasing accessibility and benefiting the Shelby County Community,” said Sidney Alive Board Chair Linda Stewart.
“Establishing Sidney Alive as an independently operating entity will enhance the organization’s income generating potential by positioning it to qualify for public grants and other funding not previously available to the organization. In addition, as an IRS 501(c)3 charitable organization, individuals supportive of the Sidney Alive mission can make contributions to the organization on a tax deductible basis which they could not do before,” said Stewart.
“It’s not just about the money,” said Stewart, “Under our new organizational structure Sidney Alive will operate under the direction of its own dedicated board of directors and employ an executive director charged with planning and managing the activities of the organization on a day to day basis.”
The current director of the Downtown Sidney Business Association, Amy Breinich, has been identified to serve as executive director for Sidney Alive.
“The focus of the organization going forward will be in several key areas to include downtown business advocacy; event and activity planning; marketing available properties for sale or lease; employ project funding alternatives using state, federal, and private grants; and mentoring for downtown businesses,” said Breinich. “Ultimately, our intent is to continue the downtown events, activities, and initiatives that have served the community well and develop new strategies that will enhance the health and vitality of downtown Sidney as a vibrant district to work, shop, and dine.”
Chamber president Jeff Raible sees this new organizational structure as a win-win for Sidney and Shelby County.
“The chamber is proud of its past affiliation with the Downtown Sidney Business Association these many years,” said Raible. “We believe, along with the Sidney Alive leadership team, that this new approach will better serve our community as a whole and Sidney Alive as an organization in terms of creating opportunities for accelerated growth and prosperity.
“As an operating department of the Chamber, the Downtown Association grew and so today is well positioned to move forward as an autonomous, self-sustained community based organization. The Chamber is 100 percent behind this reorganization and will do all within our ability to assist Sidney Alive during and after the initial transition,” said Raible.