STOCKTON (CBS13) – City leaders are working to make some big improvements along a once booming neighborhood in east Stockton.

The hope is to create a strategic plan that can be used in other parts of the city to help existing businesses grow without spending a lot of money.

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Urban strategists say attracting visitors to local businesses doesn’t really mean tearing down old structures and building new ones. Instead, it’s about fixing the existing ones.

“We want every small business here to be more successful, we want small property owners to be more successful and that is how you built wealth locally,” said Michele Reeves, urban strategist.

Through funding from the California Endowment, the Local Government Commission (LGC) is getting the chance to review Stockton’s East Main Street corridor.

The neighborhood is filled with several small businesses that strategists say have the potential of being more successful with just a few minor changes.

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Things like painting a building or using better lighting can attract more visitors and eventually help improve the local economy.

East Main Street is also filled with some abandon structures like an old theater that used to be the center of the Latino culture here in east Stockton.

City leaders say revitalizing a structure like that and making it a brand will help people easily identify the neighborhood and bring more foot traffic to a once neglected area of town.

“I think for the whole city of Stockton, there is so much diversity and so much opportunity throughout the city, but if we don’t do the hard work of being very strategic and targeted and understanding different parts of the city needs different things we’ll never start,” said Mayor Michael Tubbs.

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Strategists say revitalizing a neighborhood opens the door for grant opportunities and chances to make even more improvements down the road.