Task force to boost Mont. Co. nighttime business

WASHINGTON – A new Montgomery County task force is looking for ways to boost business after dark.

The Nighttime Economy Task Force is intended to “encourage increased nighttime business and social activity for residents, employees, and visitors of all ages and cultural backgrounds,” according to a statement.

County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett says in the statement that “a thriving nighttime economy is a opportunity to enhance Montgomery’s attractiveness to all generations, businesses and visitors.”

The 21-member panel meets for the first time May 20 at the Silver Spring Civic Center, and will focus on searching for business-friendly policies, monitoring national nighttime economy trends and trying to shore up entertainment offerings.

Group member Mike Diegel, who is focusing on arts and entertainment, says, “We’re trying to figure out – is there a way that we can create corridors where it is easier for people to find something to do?”

According to Diegel, county leaders are concerned that D.C. is too often viewed as the place to be for people who live and work in the region.

The task force’s first phase centers specifically on Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown, and Wheaton.

The group is expected to complete its policy recommendations within six months of its first meeting.

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