I want to contact local business owners in Menomonie, Wisconsin and brainstorm ways to improve the local economy. Does anyone have any suggestions? Keep in mind that it's a college town and has about 14,000 residents during the school year.
You must take a long outlook on improving a people. Jobs are good but without the discipline and integrity of the person it will all be for naught. Get involved in politics. Most of all get involved in organizing and executing service and charitable projects. This will not only help people but will improve and change the outlook of those engaged in the service. Providing positive outlets for people gives them hope and enables them to see new and affective ways to improve situations in their own lives.
That's the spirit!
I like this thread.
Don't let yourself down by the losers and reactionaries that would be my sole suggestion.
You need to generate jobs. Find out how many businesses there are, what kind of business it is, and re-evaluate their business plan. Taylor it to the 21st century, and figure out what they need to either expand or stay alive for the foreseeable future.
How about lobbying local officials with some ideas, such as free wireless internet throughout the whole town (my city in the UK successfully trialled this).
How about establishing an annual event or two? Something which could help create a unique indentity for your town and attract a large amount of visitors once or twice a year? This could help out hotels, people could rent out rooms, restaurants would be booked out, and your town could be placed on the map.
What about developing and promoting your own website? Telling people about the town, whats so great about it, why they should visit, why they should set up business there. e.g. educated individuals but low average salaries.
Its all about two things a) getting people to bring fresh money into town, and b) potentially attracting new businesses to the town.
You effectively have to 'market' your town. I did a university module on place marketing. Get yourself a slogan, put your town on the map for something, sell it. Do it through websites, get your town in the state media for something.
Make people want to visit Menomonie, just make them aware of it and what you have to offer. Think of something which Menomonie could offer which is unique to Wisconsin.
Get your businesses involved closely with the colleges, internships etc. Give your talented young people a reason to stay, e.g. some of them may get jobs out of it. Some of them may decide to base their businesses their themselves if they can really feel like they have integrated into the community. In fact, the college students could get involved in this project. Empower them and they could empower you.
Ask external college students what it is that THEY think is lacking in the town, what would make them want to stay? Some of those students could be the business leaders of the future. Ask them what it would take for them to want to stay and work in the town, young minds are the most innovative.
I second Ryan's comments. Since you're here on HubPages, I wanted to add a intriguing idea in a hub I read a long time back and bookmarked to think over. You might find it a useful starting point for ideas on how to use HubPages to promote your local economy:
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-make-mon … l-approach
Improving the local economy isn't really the purpose of good action.
If you want to help the economy, get greedy. Help yourself. Figure out something that you can deliver to your local area for a fair profit, deliver it, and make a little profit (hopefully -- if you don't make a profit, you are wasting resources).
With those profits - don't blow them, save them up. Then spend the money on you business's infrastructure so that you can hire more people, keep machines rolling, and provide even more goods that people might want.
It's not about jobs - a healthy economy doesn't need jobs - jobs are a symptom of a good economy. A healthy economy is one where needs are met and resources are being spent wisely. This might not mean jobs - after all, the automobile industry wiped out thousands of horse-training and clean-up jobs; and the computer industry wiped out the type writer industry. It's not about jobs.
Another good way to help your economy is to try to keep the minimum wage low: it's hard to make money and reinvest in your business when you have to pay people that work for you over the $7.35/hour productivity rate... also, your workers just might not be worth that much!
Fight against unions and subsidies and tariffs (oh my) - for these plagues prevent real wages from rising. Why is it that sugar isn't used in cola? because of sugar tariffs and trade barriers to appease southern farmers!
If you want to help the economy: be greedy. As Adam Smith noted, "it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest."
And always remember: one dollar spent on one thing is another dollar that wasn't spent on something else. One dollar that spent on taxes was one dollar you couldn't spend paying for more corn for your family.
It's also hard to make money and reinvest in your business when nobody in your local community makes enough money to buy your product/service.
Walmart deliberately under-pays its employees so that the only place they and their families can afford to shop is Walmart, but that's not a valid business model for every company!
Abolish the Fed and eliminate fractional reserve banking.
People are slaves to interest that is controlled by the Fed. You think you can have a strong local economy with a devastated national economy? Hardly. Look at where your dollars go when you buy anything locally. To companies that are not in your area.
Yes you can have strong local economies despite national recession. You can apply this to state levels, county levels, even street levels.
Look at the economic growth statistics for 2008 in the USA. The worst performing state was Alaska which experienced negative growth of 2%.
The best performing state was North Dakota which saw economic growth of 7.7%.
The USA saw overall growth of 0.7% in 2008, down from 2% growth in 2007.
Therefore North Dakota far outperformed the economic performance nationally.
In fact, sorry MikeNV, but your comments are silly.
Create business that provides services or products to people or other businesses outside of your area whilst providing local employment. You bring money in and your employees recycle the money within your own local economy. This works at any level.. If you want to improve your economy you have to trade out to bring money in.
SIMPLE SOLUTION, we need to revamp Washington and get rid of the radical progressive thinkers.
Democracy, yes Socialism, no
Jobs first, stop spending and reduce the size of government.
OBAMA MUST GO
This isn't a direct answer to your question, as I think Ryan has already done a really good job. My suggestion is more to do with greening your local economy, and improving the sense of community. I would recommend looking into the Transition Town movement for some alternative ideas that are not just about commerce. It's a concept which is gaining quite a lot of momentum in the UK, and has already started to grow in the US and Canada. I wrote a hub about it a while ago, but for some more up-to-date info you could try the Transition Town WIKI.
See if you have service clubs in the area with members who are helpful.
Oftentimes members are business owners and will have some ideas of what's needed in the area and they may be able to help.
You need service clubs with vibrant members though. Take the opportunity to meet with them, perhaps give a presentation to the club and you never know who you will meet who can help you realise your vision.
It's a fantastic goal BTW and very selfless. Good for you.
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