Since I was hired as the director of the Downtown Hays Development Corp., I have worked to create communication between the organization and business owners, as well as between the merchants themselves.

Those two communication streams are vitally important to the success of downtown, but thereís a third stream that is equally important. Downtown and DHDC needs to be communicating with the community. Thatís why I created Business on the Brick receptions. I strongly believe communication creates commerce.

Business on the Brick receptions are designed to showcase the amazing businesses we have in downtown Hays. DHDC desires to assist every downtown Hays business through networking, promotions and marketing. By offering these receptions to all downtown businesses, we hope to provide the merchants, new and seasoned, a chance to build relationships, accelerate sales and overall strengthen downtown.

At each reception, DHDC provides each business with an engraved brick showcasing the business name, downtown Hays and the date when they opened doors to the public. The public is invited, as well as city officials and downtown merchants to celebrate and enjoy refreshments.

It is my desire for the community to see these events as an opportunity to support small businesses in our community. By attending and meeting the people behind the storefront, you get a sense of the effect each dollar spent means to them. By hearing about their products, you are able to educate others about the great resources available to them. In a way, you are working to grow small businesses, create jobs and drive innovation just by attending these downtown celebrations.

The next reception will be at 4 p.m. July 7 at the new downtown business Blue Heron Boutique, 1013 Main. I encourage you, the community of Hays, to come welcome two young entrepreneurs to our great city. Letís all work and communicate together to make Hays an even greater place to dine, shop, stay and play.

For more information on Business on the Brick receptions and other downtown Hays events, contact Sara Bloom, DHDC executive director, at (785) 621-4171 or

Sara Bloom is executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corp.