Killeen organization aims to bring business downtown through gatherings

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - A new Killeen-based non-profit is making an unorthodox push to attract more businesses to the downtown area.

The idea is to host a party every-so-often in downtown Killeen.

The Innovation Black Chamber of Commerce, led by Ronnie Russell, calls it the Culture on the Square Jamboree. The first of many parties starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 near East Avenue D.

“When you bring more people down here, then you bring more foot traffic and, again, foot traffic turns into commerce,” said Russell, founder and president of the IBCC.

The plan is to have music, poetry reading, food and drinks. The group hopes to familiarize locals with that part of Killeen.

The ultimate goal is to fill the downtown area with a focus on minority-owned businesses.

“Of course I want more black businesses down here,” Russell said. “Because, when you look at the downtown area, there’s disparity.”

On top of that, there is a lot of room for growth downtown. Storefronts are empty and space is not being utilized.

In gaining more attention to the area, the group also hopes to try and convince younger business owners to try and set up shop.

“This is what we’re striving to do,” Russell said. “Let’s make Killeen downtown stand out because we know what’s on the other side of (Interstate) 14.”

More on Culture on the Square Jamboree, including vendor information, can be found here.

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