The All Aboard Cleburne campaign received recognition from the Texas Downtown Association for its ability to encourage the community to shop local.
The City of Cleburne and the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce – Convention & Visitors Bureau is one of three finalists in the President’s Award’s category for “Best Economic Game Changer” which is an award that recognizes a project, program, or promotion that had a measurable impact on a downtown or commercial district in a striking and powerful manner. One hundred and seven entries were submitted in eleven different categories from communities across the state. Design and achievement categories were judged by separate panels.
“We are pleased to see the All Aboard Cleburne program being recognized for its impact on encouraging the community to shop local," Cleburne City Manager Steve Polasek said. "By partnering with the Chamber of Commerce – Convention & Visitors Bureau on this program we are able to help our local businesses succeed during a difficult period, which in turn strengthens the entire city.”
The City and Chamber developed the “All Aboard Cleburne” Campaign in the spring of 2020 in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses. The primary goal was to encourage locals & visitors to shop, dine, and play in Cleburne to stimulate the economy, provide support for area businesses, and in turn, help to keep individuals employed at these businesses. The campaign slogan – which alluded to Cleburne’s rich railroad history – emphasized connection, mutual support, hometown pride, and a sentiment that “we are in this together.” For businesses, the campaign provided marketing/advertising tools to reach customers, and in some cases, additional funding was given by the City of Cleburne in the form of grants through the “All Aboard Cleburne” Small Business Grant Program. In all, 77 Cleburne businesses received a total of $385,000 directly from the grant program, advertising tools for them to use, and overall support in the form of “shop local” messaging.
All finalists are eligible for the People’s Choice Awards which are selected by the people via Facebook. Images of the finalist will be uploaded to the Texas Downtown Association Facebook page on October 18th at noon and voting will end on October 22nd at 5pm. Let’s come together to vote for “All Aboard Cleburne” and show our Cleburne pride by simply reacting to our image with a like, love or wow.
“Promoting Cleburne’s local businesses within and outside of the community has been the mission of the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce since 1919,” Chamber President Tara Janszen said. “Our efforts to support business and help grow our local economy did not stop for one second during the 2020 pandemic, but only enhanced. We worked tirelessly alongside our city and county leadership to help our local businesses navigate the historic challenges of the coronavirus crisis. One the greatest positives that came out of this season for our community was the “All Aboard Cleburne” campaign. It helped so many businesses to recover and grow, all while reminding the community of the importance of keeping our hard-earned dollars in Cleburne! It was a great honor for the Cleburne Chamber to collaborate with the City of Cleburne on this program and witness first-hand the significant economic impact it had on our community.”