[When Mike Rizzo explained the Refresh Kitanning story to me, I knew you would want to learn about it. Here is how people in one small town are taking an active approach to economic and business development. – Becky ]
My name is Mike and I created a community website to hopefully inspire growth and entrepreneurship in my home town in Western PA. After years of nothing happening in my home town of Kittanning, PA I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to ignite growth. I’ve meet with a lot of people and the desire to change things around seems to be there.
We created a website (www.refreshkittanning.com) in which people can share ideas on how to make the community better. We hope to use the collective power and talents of the community to improve upon and promote the advantages of their community to the world.
The initial topic asks what type of businesses community members would like to see in town. We expect to see a wide array of ideas, ranging from massive undertakings to simple suggestions. We can then take that feedback and ask local businesses about expanding into that area. We also hope entrepreneurs who visit the site will see a need and be inspired to invest in the community. I assume the majority of people would like to see a large innovative company such as Apple or Google open up a local office, but I have no problem starting small—as one job created is better than none.
The website has a few other features for businesses, which include a free directory listing and a commercial property listing. Local businesses can also submit news or announcements to the site. This site is not only about attracting new businesses; it’s also about helping current businesses succeed.
In the age of the Internet, I think the timing is right for a project like this. The low cost of living and low cost of doing business is very advantageous for businesses. There are many businesses out there who would have much better economies of scale if they we’re located in Western PA, compared to NYC or California.
We just launched the site and the major challenge is getting people to share their ideas. Remember this is town of about 5,000 in PA, and change is still a dirty word. We’ve seen four straight decades of population decline, yet even the local news paper has yet to run our story. So certainly there is a major challenge getting the project off the ground. However I think once the rest of the community starts seeing the benefits the site and movement will take off.
I also want to remind everyone you don’t have to be a resident to share your ideas—all ideas are welcomed. Anyone with entrepreneur aspirations is strongly encouraged to regularly check the site as they might find a great opportunity.
Take a look at www.refreshkittanning.com.
New to SmallBizSurvival.com? Take the Guided Tour. Like what you see? Get our updates.
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
- Holiday 2022 marketing: Tell your founding story - December 1, 2022
Killer stuff right there.