WINONA – The Winona Board of Aldermen is considering partnering with a New Albany firm to recruit retail business to the area.
Eli Tate from NaviRetail proposed a partnership between the City of Winona and his company to recruit national retail stores and restaurants to open stores in Winona. Tate explained that his firm creates analytics of the area using cell phone data and credit card data to determine where local shoppers spend their money here and in other cities.
“We will then perform an opportunity analysis to show what [retail areas] are leaking out of the county,” Tate said.
Tate said the data will allow the creation of custom marketing pieces to target specific retailers that could meet a need in Winona. Then national site selectors would be hired to look for ideal locations for future development.
Tate said the partnership would cost the city $37,000 for a 12-month contract, however, most of the data analysis has already been done for the city, which would help alleviate some of the cost to the city. Tate said he would review the data and determine a final cost at the November meeting.
“You need to look at this as if you are hiring a new member of your [development] team,” Tate said.
Mayor Jerry Flowers said, “I think we should give this a chance and see what they can do. And Sue [Stidham] needs help. She can’t do it by herself on her small budget. Another selling point is that this will also help our existing retail businesses in Winona in improving their sales as well.”
In other city business:
• Winona Water Superintendent Frank Faulkner reported that three fire hydrants had been struck by vehicles and had to be replaced. The motorist will be assessed the cost of replacing the hydrant.
• The board voted to promote Patrolman Matt Miletello to sergeant at the recommendation of Winona Chief of Police Tommy Bibbs.
• The board voted to accept the resignation of Michael Wallace from the Winona Street Department. The board agreed to hire Randy Johnson as a general laborer.
• The board voted to hire Engineering Services as the engineers for a proposed water tower and water well grant proposal.
• The board approved a memorandum of understanding in regards to a $300,000 grant from the state of Mississippi to pave Powell Street.