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New Youngstown business committee hosts inaugural event

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A new group in the city held its inaugural meeting Tuesday evening and it may mean small, yet effective changes for Youngstown.

Organizers of the newly formed Downtown Business Alliance of Youngstown, or DBAY, say it's been more than a decade since efforts to revitalize the city's downtown first began. In that time they say the downtown district has certainly grown but with progress comes new concerns.

"As our city has grown and as we have more events, and more restaurants, and more things happening, there are issues we have to deal with," said Executive Director of Youngstown CityScape Sharon Letson.

The alliance of business owners and downtown residents will serve as a component of Youngstown CityScape.  Cityscape is a nonprofit that has pushed for the beautification of downtown.

"This agenda is a little different because now we're talking about keeping our streets clean, addressing maybe parking issues, maybe even addressing signage when someone visits downtown," said Letson. "So a number of different things."

The overall goal of the committee is to revitalize Youngstown and improve its economic image.

Organizers hopes their success will come from a team effort between business leaders and local government officials. 

"I say it all the time, government cannot do everything by themselves.  They need help," said Youngstown Mayor Chuck Sammarone, "and people who are involved, such as the group downtown working with government, we can continue to move the downtown ahead and that's our goal."

The alliance hopes more businesses and residents will become involved.

For more information visit www.DBAYoungstown.org

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