Our Impact

Through the following initiatives, DDI works to build a clean, safe, welcoming and vibrant downtown community where residents, merchants, businesses, and visitors can thrive.

Clean, Safe and Welcoming

Downtown Ambassadors

The Downtown Ambassadors are the helping hands and friendly face of DDI. They work to keep downtown Durham clean and safe, and serve as knowledgeable and helpful points of contact for residents, business owners and visitors. Learn more about our stellar Ambassadors and all they do for the downtown Durham community, or use the online Service Request form to report a concern.

Economic Growth

Business Attraction and Retention


DDI supports development to facilitate strategic economic growth in downtown. Services include assisting with next phase development, and providing trend analyses, data and information on new development and redevelopment downtown.

Development Map

Our interactive map tracks all the development projects happening in downtown Durham.

Small Business Services

DDI supports small businesses downtown. From finding a location to succeeding and growing, DDI can help. Our Small Business Resource Guide is a good place to start.

Merchant Support

The Streetery

To boost local businesses and entice new customers, we open downtown streets to pedestrian traffic with festive lights, music and performers sprinkled throughout.

SpendaBull Gift Card

SpendaBull is a digital gift card to use at participating merchants in downtown Durham. It’s as easy to use as a credit card, comes in any amount from $5 to $500 and works without an app.

Retailers Roundtable

Downtown retailers come together on an as-needed basis to discuss sales and marketing initiatives, address concerns or attend trainings.

Merchant Handbook

The Downtown Durham Merchant Handbook is a go-to reference guide with info like frequently called numbers and a listing of services available to downtown merchants.

Downtown Event Calendar

The DDI Event Calendar is the place for downtown retailers, restaurants and residents to promote events.

Downtown Parking Map

The DDI interactive parking map has a complete list of public parking available downtown.

Social Media Marketing

DDI promotes downtown businesses and amplifies their social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Downtown Jobs Board

DDI connects businesses with job-seekers to fill open positions located in the Downtown Business Improvement District.

Merchant Map

DDI maintains and distributes virtual, printed and downloadable maps of street-level businesses within the BID.

Networking Events

Annual Meeting

DDI's Annual Meeting is an update on the organization's progress and accomplishments over the previous year. It brings together elected officials, downtown businesses and DDI supporters to network, hear new ideas from national experts and celebrate the people who keep downtown Durham vibrant and growing.

State of Downtown Durham

This annual event highlights what’s happening now and what’s coming up in downtown Durham. A presentation from a nationally recognized speaker is followed by networking with partners, stakeholders and community members.

Speaker Series

The three-part DDI Speaker Series brings experts to Durham to present innovative ideas that catalyze conversation about forward-thinking concepts. The free discussions are followed by networking receptions where members of the community can engage with the speaker in an informal environment. DDI also hosts follow-up meetings between the speaker, city and county officials and downtown stakeholders for a deeper dive into the topic.

Strategy and Policy

Downtown Master Plan

DDI's Downtown Master Plan provides vision and guidance on the strategic development of downtown Durham. It is updated every eight years.

Studies and Analyses

Through topical studies and analyses, DDI shapes discussion and policy on initiatives critical to the growth of an equitable and successful downtown, city and county. Studies include Business Diversity in Downtown Durham, the International Downtown Associations' Value of Downtowns, Parking Studies and Retail Market Analyses.

Position Statements

When warranted, DDI advocates for downtown stakeholders by speaking out about policies and initiatives that impact residents, visitors and business owners.

Advocacy and Mediation

DDI also advocates for BID and downtown constituents through contact and interaction with city and county departments. When appropriate, DDI works to facilitate face-to-face meetings to inform and build connections.

Cultural Vibrancy

Public Spaces

Public Space Project

Downtown Durham, Inc. hosts unexpected and thought-provoking projects in downtown Durham’s public spaces. Downtown Durham, Inc. Public Space Project is an activation project focused on retaining and supporting the creative and artistic cultures of Durham and upholding public spaces of convergence. We encourage collaborative, thought-provoking and unifying rather than divisive work.

Third Friday

Explore downtown Durham's galleries, artist studios, shops, restaurants and music from 6-9 p.m. every third Friday. Find out what’s happening each month by visiting ThirdFridayDurham.org or stop by Discover Durham on Third Friday to pick up a calendar.

Walk-a-Bull Downtown

As incentive to get everyone walking downtown, DDI has partnered with the YMCA of the Triangle to paint W. A. Bull on a number of buildings and structures. Can you find them all? Visit walkabulldowntown.org for a map.

Tree Lighting @ CCB Plaza

A fanciful, danceable tree lighting at CCB Plaza (near Major the Bull), directly after the American Tobacco Annual Tower Lighting at American Tobacco Campus. Follow a joyous procession up Blackwell Street to celebrate our community and light up the plaza.

The Mix at Durham Station

DDI has partnered with GoDurham to bring music and food to travelers and members of the community at the Durham Station Transportation Center from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Third Fridays – a great way to kick off a Third Friday evening.

PARK(ing) Day

DDI hosts Durham’s celebration of PARKing Day, an international phenomenon motivated by the desire to activate the metered parking space as a site for creative experimentation, political and cultural expression, and unscripted social interaction.

Event Partnerships

DDI supports innovative, exciting events that bring diverse audiences to downtown Durham. For questions about event sponsorship, contact Nicole J. Thompson, President/CEO.

BID Stakeholder Input Meetings

Each year DDI hosts input sessions to determine the priorities of our Business Improvement District stakeholders. In 2020, we began hosting sessions for targeted constituent groups to better understand their issues and concerns.

2020 Meetings:

Feedback Survey

What’s great about downtown Durham, and what could be better? Your thoughts are always welcome. Share your thoughts at downtowndurham.com/feedback.

Happenings in the Heart of the Bull City BID Newsletter

Our monthly e-newsletter highlights information, events, and traffic of interest to the businesses, residents and property owners in the Downtown Durham Business Improvement District.