By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The Downtown Belton Merchants Association (DBMA), established in 2008, works together with the city of Belton to sponsor activities that benefit businesses. The idea for Market Days came to fruition when downtown Belton business owners got together and discussed ways to bring more awareness to the downtown area stores and restaurants.
Sandy Bigham, the owner of Vintage Daze Antiques, is the only original DBMA member still involved in the organization. Her efforts have been vital to the ongoing success of DBMA. DBMA is over 75 members strong, and a core group of 8-10 individuals is responsible for putting on Market Days, on the third Saturday of each month.
“What DBMA does for the downtown area is remarkable! A handful of volunteers work hard for the vitalization of downtown Belton. I supported DBMA before I opened the doors to My Giving Tree, and I serve on the board now,” explained Leila Valchar, the owner of My Giving Tree. “We are stronger in numbers, and I encourage all businesses in downtown Belton to get involved and be an active part of DBMA. I want to commend these DBMA ladies for so many years of hard work.”
An average Market Day yields 50-75 vendors, and local businesses reap the rewards of having thousands of people flock to downtown Belton.
“Once DBMA started Belton Market Days things seemed to start to take off. Market Days attracts about 30,000 visitors annually, and DBMA gets things done for every single business and organization in Belton,” stated David Tuma, Publisher of The Belton Journal.
DBMA members get their business showcased on the DBMA website, and members receive a discount on their vendor space each month for joining.
“We want to bring awareness to the downtown Belton area – we want more shoppers and families to visit our fantastic town! An open meeting is held at Vintage Daze, at 5:30 p.m., on the Thursday before Market Days. Anyone is welcome to attend – it’s not just for members. Anyone interested in getting more information about DBMA, or becoming involved in the organization can call Vintage Daze at (254) 939-5699, or visit http://www.downtownbelton.com/become-a-member,” explained Wendy Harcrow, DBMA Treasurer. “Students or school groups in need of volunteer hours can donate their time and help out at Market Days, and we will gladly sign off on the hours for them.”
DBMA will be celebrating their 10th birthday on Saturday, May 19, with a Market Days extravaganza featuring lots of vendors, games, and inflatables.