That’s why I support rural entrepreneurs. The best way I can help your community to prosper is to help your entrepreneurs and business owners. They are the ones who will help find solutions to local problems.
That’s why I was excited by the CNN story of Tony Hsieh’s new startup investing $350 million in downtown Las Vegas. Tony is the CEO of Zappos. He wants a thriving downtown to move Zappos into, so people can have more chance encounters and create more wonderful things for the company. And they are investing in getting it.
“Most developers focus on ROI. We’re looking at ROC, return on community.”
I think this is also a place where brands can better connect with local communities. (You’ll be hearing much more on that subject from me, soon. It’s tied to the Small Town Rules book project. )
A new generation of entrepreneurs are redefining small towns and small business. For example, Katie McCaskey is leading the charge with her Micropolitan Manifesto.
It’s not really a new trend, though. Here are two more examples:
Fred Carl, Jr., founder of Viking Range, is from Greenwood, Mississippi. And his prosperity has translated into prosperity for Greenwood. Read more about his community efforts at Viking Range.
George Tucker spent 40 years building small businesses in the village of Oriskany Falls, New York. He felt it could serve as a retail hub. “He became Mr. Rural Renewal, refurbishing the buildings on Main Street. Citizens of the area describe George as a catalyst for change and community improvement.” I found Tucker’s story at Amazon.com, of all places.
And, two more examples from Dave Ivan’s Can Small Towns Be Cool presentation:
In New Carlisle, Indiana, Bill Owens expanded a floral shop into gifts, a furniture store, and transformed the community into a regional destination.
In Mackinaw City, Michigan, the Sheppler and Green families partnered to develop Mackinaw Crossing. It changed the area’s entire retail flavor from t-shirts and fudge shops to a retail shopping destination.
What examples do you have of entrepreneurs helping their communities prosper?
- Downtown is your town’s core: How to make your case - February 22, 2021
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020