open for business updates
We won't send a ton of junk, just the good stuff.
I love strolling through a vibrant and distinct shopping district— perusing the shops and finding gems to take home from my visits. It is undeniable that a strong downtown district or seasoned shop can cause us to linger just a bit longer over found items that weren’t even on our shopping list.
I rarely ‘make a run downtown’ to pick up a single item. I find myself strolling and shopping these neighborhoods as more of a pastime. And I’m not alone. As Internet shopping and sterile strip malls begin to burgeon and create a new norm, many of us are still seeking out places to intermingle with other people, ideas and experiences. Even fresh, local groceries can be boxed up and conveniently shipped to our doors—but no box can deliver the sights, smells and sounds of a bustling night in an active downtown restaurant.
There’s a big difference between a dynamic shopping neighborhood and those areas where owners struggle to keep the lights on. Shopping districts and rural main streets can create the spaces that allow the community to emerge and express itself organically. This movement to create such open spaces has been coined placemaking.
Placemaking is simply a method of creating that energy so many of us are seeking in a downtown area. Local business owners can spur the creation of this mythical place with a few simple steps. Much like me, most people are drawn to neighborhoods where there are lots of things to do. Placemaking experts recommend having at least 10 things to do or 10 reasons for visitors to shop your district. We aren’t talking about big, themed events (although those are fun, too).
Placemaking is found in the simple things that make neighborhoods unique and appealing: a functioning historic clock tower, a bench under a flowering tree, a random splash of art on a corner, the smells of a local eatery or a small jazz quartet playing the corner during the Farmer’s Market. Your district's 10 reasons should be on a variety of scales: a giant sandcastle building contest in an open lot coupled with a slushie vendor.
Clear, interrelated concepts help people draw the connections between these spaces in your neighborhood. Remember, streets and sidewalks are not simple, utilitarian corridors that are used to drive people to the strip mall. Create new spaces and places within existing ones will capture the energy of your destination.
Downtown associations and active community groups can re-ignite their areas by drawing on the concepts and tools of placemaking. Encourage entrepreneurial activities of every size to bring out the community’s creativity by supporting incentives for people to invest their time and talents into diversifying your shopping district.
Saving our downtown districts and main streets is not about competing with big box stores or online vendors. It is about giving area residents and visitors what they crave– a sense of place and community.
Understanding generational differences in the workforce Currently, we have five different generations active in the workforce. Each g..
United Way finds success through partnership Lisa Parish – United Way of Kearney Lisa Reese Parish has served as the Executiv..
Foundation of a successful partnership Many business forms or structures exist, one of which is a business partnership – wi..
Public library offers valuable resources for business owners When most folks think of the public library, they think sto..
Keeping talent in Central Nebraska According to a 2014 Gallup study, millennials— people who are 30 years old an..
Come together... right now People come together for many reasons including similar hobbies, sports, cultural celebrations, communi..
Placemaking 101 I love strolling through a vibrant and distinct shopping district— perusing the shops and finding gems to take ho..
Resources for budding (and established) farm businesses Nebraska is well-known for its broad fields and herds of livestock, but it's also..
One FAN-tastic ag program Agriculture is a pillar of Nebraska’s economy. That pillar has been maintained by generations of livestoc..
Wage increase brings varying opinions Effective January 1, Nebraska’s minimum wage increased to $8.00 per hour. Accord..
Use or lose funding opportunity Last year, the State of Nebraska awarded training grants to Nebraska organizations in the amount of $1,3..
Creating your network We have all tested that theory of six degrees of separation— we know a person who knows a person who knows a pe..
It's all in the follow-up When dealing with business to business (B2B) interactions, expectations are often set after the first tran..
Fighting the "nice" fight SOURCE: NEBRASKA ATTORNEY GENERAL (http://www.ago.ne.gov/consumer_protection) The Attorney..
Being your best marketing tool What is the biggest and best marketing tool in your business? YOU! What you say about your business a..
Make a mark with your marketing message Even if you create a product that is positively revolutionary, it will never amount to mu..
Creating connections with future employees In Nebraska, we are very lucky to have a low unemployment rate, but this can cause i..
Program creates a channel to talent Searching for a quality internship to support your collegiate studies? Interested in offering in..
Why It Matters We all have an idea of what teamwork is, but with a diverse group of people and personalities, how do you achiev..
One Man's Trash is the City of Kearney’s Treasure Imagine 175 semi-trucks lined up and full of trash, or at least what most people..
WasteCap Nebraska, B Labs provide Benefit Impact Assessment Does this sound familiar? A Hastings soap company (/stories/social-mission-co..
Narrowing down grant eligibility in your field (http://www.innovativegrants.com/) Internships or training, innovation or expans..
Making sure a business foundation is solid As I sat in a meeting the other day with an exciting local startup, I was reminded of the import..