Emily Arthur, manager of the Janesville Farmers Market, is the new executive director for the city’s first downtown business improvement district.

The Downtown Janesville Inc. Board selected Arthur during a meeting Wednesday. She officially starts the part-time position Feb. 12.

Arthur said her immediate goals include making connections with downtown business owners and workers. She wants to hear their concerns and be a voice for them, she said.

“(I’m) really hoping to bring more businesses downtown and see some of the storefronts get filled,” Arthur said.

Part of her job will be bridging the communications gap between downtown businesses and Forward Janesville, Downtown Janesville and other organizations. She’ll measure success by getting feedback directly from downtown stakeholders and adjusting accordingly, she said.

“I’m really excited to do even more with downtown. I’ve been volunteering already and have seen some great things happening,” Arthur said. “... Everybody is doing really awesome things right now, so (I want) to keep that momentum going.”

Arthur is a Downtown Janesville Inc. member who oversees the farmers market. Under her two-year tenure, attendance has more than doubled and the number of vendors has increased about 28 percent, she said.

Arthur said she also has experience coordinating and promoting events that bring vendors and people downtown.

She was a finalist alongside Stacy Walsh, a former gymnastics coach, day-care provider and automobile service adviser. There was a total of five applicants.

Businesses within the BID will be charged annual special assessments of $2.25, $1.50 or $1 per $1,000 of assessed valuation based on their locations. The money will be used for beautification, extra snow removal, events and more to improve downtown Janesville.

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