Building a Downtown Durham Community
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
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.
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.
Our interactive map tracks all the development projects happening in downtown Durham.
To boost local businesses and entice new customers, we open downtown streets to pedestrian traffic with festive lights, music and performers sprinkled throughout.
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.
Downtown retailers come together on an as-needed basis to discuss sales and marketing initiatives, address concerns or attend trainings.
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.
Social Media Marketing
DDI promotes downtown businesses and amplifies their social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
DDI connects businesses with job-seekers to fill open positions located in the Downtown Business Improvement District.
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.
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.
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
DDI's Downtown Master Plan provides vision and guidance on the strategic development of downtown Durham. It is updated every eight years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.