By Michelle Murdock, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – According to its website, Marlborough Downtown Village “is an association of people with an interest in downtown Marlborough for the purpose of creating an environment that attracts visitors, shoppers and tenants and to develop a communication network to keep downtown stakeholders abreast of issues and events that would affect us all.” The organization was originally formed five years ago by a group of concerned business owners, organizational leaders and residents concerned with the future of the downtown.
When asked about her role, Mary Scott of Main Street Café said, “I am one of the founders. Let’s put it this way: I was the one that spoke up. My husband Randy Scott, Rick Bennett of Marlborough Savings, Bob Kane from the Historical Society and Susanne Leeber, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, brainstormed it. Many others joined in and supported us soon as we got it going.”
Now five years later, Scotts said membership has grown to “on and off about 30 members” and the organization has made a difference. In 2012, with the help of the Marlborough Economic Development Committee (MEDC), the city became the second central Massachusetts community to receive a cultural district designation from Massachusetts Cultural Council.
“Being a cultural district gives us the opportunity to be involved with the programs at the council as well as the possibility of applying for grant monies,” said Scott. “At present, our group is working on bringing a community mural to the downtown as well as a walking tour. We often host artist openings, featuring local musicians and we are looking forward to partnering to expand upon the current Heritage Festival.”
And while crediting MEDC for their work on Marlborough’s rezoning efforts and acknowledging that it paves the way for future development, Scott said Marlborough Downtown Village is now more concerned with the cultural aspect of the downtown and would like to see a diversity of businesses to create foot traffic.
“Bumpy’s, now called Main Street Café, has been in the downtown for over 40 years,” said Scott. Her husband Randy Scott has owned it for over 30 of those years and she has been his co-owner for the last 10 years.
“We were both brought up here in town and have seen much change in the downtown,” she said. “It is still a lovely clean city with beautiful Victorian architecture. What is different from when we grew up here is that it is now mostly service businesses which don’t bring much lingering foot traffic.”
Current business that comprise the Marlborough Downtown Village include the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Café, Ghost Light Players, BB Realty, Black Bear Waste Consulting and Management, Sanchez & Santiago, Eden Place Center for Massage, Green Marlborough and The Vin Bin.
To learn more about Marlborough Downtown Village, visit http://discovermarlborough.org/ or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DowntownVillage.