Thoughts about business and economic development in rural areas.


February 2008
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Archive for February 6th, 2008

Community Attaboys and Attagirls

Attended the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting Saturday night and I was struck by how well they were doing one of the simple things that most promotion and economic development groups miss….recognizing local change.

When a new business comes to town we usually have a ribbon cutting or the ‘First Dollar’ presentation and that’s great and Platteville does that part very well.

But what about the business that’s been there for several years (or ‘forever’)? What happens when they make changes? A store remodel, a facade facelift, adding new employees. In all too many cases these positive changes go almost unnoticed and certainly unrecognized. Not in Platteville. The Chamber did an excellent job of recognizing local changes. They named names, pointed fingers and patted backs and you could tell that the ‘Attaboys’ and ‘Attagirls’ were appreciated by the smiles.

The focus on local change had another impact as well. I think it was impossible for anyone in attendance to not be impressed and even amazed by all the positive things happening around the community.

Want to have an impact on your next community annual meeting? Here’s a suggestion. Take a photo of every business facade in your community during one week right after an annual meeting. Then photo the same buildings two weeks prior to the next annual meeting. Combine those photos with the stories of the changes that occured and you’ll have a program that gives well deserved recognition to those who are investing in your community and give a little boost to those who might be considering something for the upcoming year.

And to the staff at the Platteville Chamber, here’s your very own ‘Attaboy’ & ‘Attagirl’. Great job.