Executive Director June 2018 Update

AREA News, News - 06.28.18

Executive Director June 2018 Update

My first job out of college was teaching in Big Springs. Being a single guy, I always had other colleagues and community members keeping their eye out for eligible bachelorettes. Although there wasn’t a large selection of single people in the Big Springs area, I did manage to go a few dates that others set up. I was lucky to meet my wife when I was coaching basketball and she was the newspaper editor in the neighboring town of Julesburg. Although this wasn’t a date others set up for me, it was a successful match.

Now, I’m the one looking to set up retail businesses with our community. One effort we are making is to recruit outside national retailers to McCook. Half a year ago, McCook sent a team to Retail Strategies training. This training provided the team with a list of national retailers that would be a good fit for our demographics. It also provided the information these retailers want to know about the community. Part of the information retailers want is to know is what properties are available. Members of this team have researched this and based on this, we have started to send out packets courting retailers to explore opening their next store in McCook.

Many times, the best match for an individual is someone local. This can be true in retail also. We are also working to help individuals with a retail idea to start their own retail business. There are a variety of resources available in terms of education and capital to start a business in McCook. Charlie McPherson, Nebraska Business Development Center Director, is located on the third floor of the Keystone and is available to help you develop your business plan. Once you have a solid plan in place, there is an LB 840 revolving loan fund that you can apply for to provide some of the capital you need to start your business.

McCook Economic Development is launching the Retail Incubator. We are offering a six-month discounted lease to our first floor space that is on the corner of D and Norris. This is an outstanding location for you to try out your retail idea. With a six month lease, you can afford to take a risk. If it works, then we’ll help you identify a permanent retail location in the community. If it doesn’t, it can be a great learning opportunity, without breaking the bank. We do want you to be successful so we require individuals who participate in this program to have a completed business plan and meet with a retail mentor that we would help set up.

If you want to own your own retail business, but don’t want to start from scratch, please let me know. I have had a couple local businesses contact me, letting me know that in the next couple of years they would like to transition out of their business. They don’t want to announce this publicly, but if you would be interested in purchasing a local business so you can be your own boss, maybe I can play the role of matchmaker for you.

It is also important for us to match our local dollars with our local retailers. You can find a wider selection on-line and probably items for cheaper, but when you purchase from an on-line retailer located outside of the area, your money is leaving the area. When you buy from our local retailers, the money you spend turns over in the community multiple times. The sales tax we pay goes to support the state and local government, helping make this a better place. Our local retailers also have been great supporters of local fundraisers and organizations, something I haven’t seen Amazon do.

My wife and I have been married for over fourteen years and it was a great match. I’m not in the business of helping you find a mate, but I am in the business of making local businesses matches. I tried watching the Bachelor for tips, but what I saw on there wasn’t going to work with retail matches in McCook. What has worked has been listening to people in this area on their needs and interests. Please contact me if I can help you start or purchase your own retail business.