An interesting website started a few years ago, www.wheresgeorge.com, which is a site dedicated to following the whereabouts of a dollar bill as it circulates around the world. Imprinted on the dollar bill is a stamp with the domain name wheresgeorge.com and it simply asks the holder of that bill to go to the website and enter the city, state, country of the location of that bill. The person uses the bill's serial number as the traceable factor. It's truly interesting to see how a single dollar bill can travel around the world and how fast (or slow) it takes for it to circulate.
In discussions about economic development in and around Kendallville, we have often talked about how money from outside our community comes into the hands of local businesses and how income from community members is spent in and outside the community. This concept of understanding how money is spent is a critical component of planning for economic development.
How can Kendallville businesses attract out-of-town consumers and how do Kendallville businesses attract consumers right from our own town?
Sadly, there is a reality that Kendallville (like any town) can not serve ALL the needs of its citizens when it comes to the purchases they make. Cities like Auburn, Angola, Fort Wayne, and Columbia City offer local citizens a wide variety of shops, stores, and services which may be more in line with their needs or wants than Kendallville businesses can offer. Conversely, Kendallville offers a wide variety of products and services that these other cities don't.
So how do we maximize the awareness of local and out-of-town consumers regarding these products and services offered in Kendallville?
The EDAC is aware of these realities and it is our goal to develop marketing campaigns which will help local and out-of-town consumers become aware of the businesses which reside in Kendallville. Aside from the many industrial employers in and around Kendallville which provide many jobs and income to our citizens, the local retail and commercial businesses depend on these consumers to earn their incomes and pay their employees as well.
In the coming year, the EDAC will continue to establish ways to help our local businesses grow and assist in the economic development of our community as a whole. Areas like tourism, tax abatements, marketing, and resource connection will be among the main avenues for the EDAC to achieve this goal.
If we follow the dollar coming in to our community and encourage our local consumers to keep their dollars here, we will all succeed in building the city we continue to call home.