The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, along with its partners, serves the community through a variety of programs and sponsorships. We provide these services with the help of our members and volunteers. We work to support our existing businesses and attract new ventures to create a mix of retail shops, entertainment venues and services that fill the needs of our Valley
Event Banner Program
There are 100 lampposts that are available for banners in the downtown. The banners on the lampposts are controlled by both the city of Walla Walla and the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation runs the program and hires the person who puts them up and takes them down. At the end of the year the city and the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation split the revenue after expenses have been deducted. The banners are intended only for community events and the content must be approved by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation before the banners are erected.
Wine & Dine Brochure
The Wine & Dine Brochure is the most popular handout at most of the hotels and at the information booth downtown. We normally distribute 15,000 every eight months. The brochure benefits our wine tasting rooms and restaurants in the downtown. The brochure is a prosperous endeavor for the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. The Wine & Dine guide serves our wineries and restaurants and helps the tourists find where all the establishments are located.
Both Tourism Walla Walla and the foundation operate the booth. The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation donates $5,000 to keep the booth operating. Initially the executive director of Tourism and the director of the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation started the booth to help our guests find their way around our Valley. The brochures displayed at the booth promote our businesses in the Valley and the booth offers both residents and tourists the opportunity to purchase tickets to the events in our community. The booth is manned throughout the year and hours vary depending on the time of year. The booth has been very valuable in guiding guests and tourists to functions within our community.
Small Business Development Center
Since 2011, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation has taken on the responsibility of being the fiscal agent for the Small Business Development Center. Each year the Port generously donates $45,000 in kind and cash to the SBDC. Our responsibility is to get cash donations for the remaining $15,000. We believe a great deal of our mission is supporting small business in every way possible. The majority of our retailers are small business. The Farmers Market is entirely small business. The data from the SBDC indicates that many of our merchants have been helped by this free service to our businesses. Prior to our involvement with our local SBDC, the SBDC had closed down in Walla Walla. We felt the community need it back. We brought it back to help our businesses be more successful.
Main Street Tax Credit (B&O Tax)
We have been very fortunate in that the B&O tax credit has made a major difference to the budget of the foundation. Certified Main Streets are the only economic groups that can accept donations. The maximum we can receive is $133,333.33. The donation helps in two ways. The B&O tax credit allows the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation to increase its budget by that amount so that we can better serve our constituents. In addition, the B&O tax credit helps the donors by allowing them to take a B&O tax credit with the state government in the following year.
The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation sends a weekly newsletter to members and friends of the foundation. Members can send any news about their businesses and organizations for inclusion. The newsletter serves to link the business community.