YOUNGSTOWN - A new group has been formed to create a conduit between downtown businesses and city government.
One of the leaders of the Downtown Business Alliance of Youngstown, Richard Hahn, however, said that the group exists as much to help the administration.
''It's our job as a group to make things better for our visitors, better for our stakeholders and better for city government so we can work together,'' Hahn, who heads up Keynote Media Group, said at a news conference at the V2 Wine Bar Trattoria at the corner of West Federal and Hazel streets.
''It's our job to work better for city government so city government can help us,'' Hahn added.
DBAY will be part of Youngstown CityScape, which has existed for years to promote the downtown.
Hahn said a forum held last year among downtown business owners spoke well of the success of business in recent years downtown, but some businesses thought a better job could be done in promoting the downtown, and that the city government could do a better job of responding to problems in the downtown area.
The number one goal of businesses in that forum was for the downtown to be safe and to have enough police on hand to make people feel safe, Hahn said. Another consensus that emerged was that the downtown needs more retail businesses, Hahn said.
Susan Letson of CityScape said because of the rapid growth in the downtown in the last couple of years, a group is needed to ensure better cooperation between businesses and government.
''It's clear we're all in this together and it's clear we need one another,'' Letson said. ''We're growing almost faster than we can keep up. And that's a good problem to have.''
"There's a lot of hope now," said Faniro Architects President and DBAY member Ron Faniro. "The purpose of this group really is to create an open dialogue with the city. We need to take advantage of the opportunities and momentum and keep it going."
Some other key issues the group is looking to address includes parking, signage, cleanliness, marketing and promotion.
"Everybody will have a say so in what goes on in our city," Faniro said. "Everybody will have input."
WYTV 33 News contributed to this report.