Emporia Main Street was asked to provide a case study presentation at the Quad State Development Conference held in Kansas City last week. The conference hosted participants (developers, planners, architects and engineers) from Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and Kansas.
Emporia Main Street
Lots of great Halloween activities are on the horizon, Veterans banners will soon go up and a few big business announcements are just around the corner. Fourth quarter is in full swing!
Downtown Trick or Treat!
Contact Emporia Main Street if your business would like to participate!
Holiday Stroll Activities
Lead Renovators Certification - Refresher
For individuals who have previously completed the Lead Renovator Initial Certification in compliance with the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule.
This KDHE 4-hour Refresher Course is required to renew your individual certification. Our courses are delivered by experienced instructors, and will provide you with all the current information you need to successfully and safely perform RRP work in the field. Renewal of this training course is required every 5 years.
Instructor: Rex Smith
Bldg/Rm: FHTC Main Campus
Schedule: Monday, November 2, 12:30pm-4:30pm
Lead Renovators Certification - Initial
This course includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and KDHE certification. Any contractor performing qualifying work must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training, in addition to being registered as a renovation firm with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Provided by an approved KDHE training provider, this will satisfy the new requirement for individuals to attain KDHE lead certification in Lead Paint Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP). Attendees who pass the certification exam will be certified as renovators to perform lead-safe work.
Instructor: Rex Smith
Bldg/Rm: FHTC Main Campus
Schedule: Tuesday, November 3, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm
Learn more about local amenities, organizations, businesses, events and more with the E-Town Mobile App! The ETown App is a joint project among Emporia State University, Flint Hills Technical College, USD 253, The Emporia Gazette, the City of Emporia, the Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau and Emporia Main Street.
For IPhone Users, Click Here!
For Android Users, Click Here!
For the iPad Version, Click Here!
For the Web Version, click here:
Property Availability Guide
For property owners with property available for rent or sale, this is a free service to collect information and post it on the Emporia Main Street Web Site. With other market information available, we hope this site makes it easier for potential businesses and property developers to find spaces they need.
to enter information about your available property and view previously submitted information.
Business Investment Guide
Do you know a business that should locate in Emporia? Maybe you know an entrepreneur looking for resources or a business owner looking to expand? The Business Investment Guide is community information designed to help you point your contacts in the right direction!
CLICK HERE for the INVESTMENT GUIDE
The Donation Dilemma
Giving purpose to your donation strategy
By Shane Wilson - Special Projects Coordinator
Let's face it - it's the time of year where every business is seemingly bombarded with donation requests. While the agencies making these requests almost always have good intentions, it's hard to keep up the sheer amount of "asks." Emporia Main Street is no different - we make donation requests (volunteer time, auction items, etc.) and receive requests pretty consistently. There are several questions that come to mind when thinking about how to deal with this issue:
- How do I keep up with all of these donation requests?
- How do I decide which cause is right for my business?
- What if I don't have enough resources to donate?
Alternatively, you could very easily switch out these questions with more purposeful ones:
- What's my system of prioritization with local charities/organizational requests?
- How does my business' current value system match with my donation requests?
- What are some ways I can donate other than a check?
I wanted to take this time to address these questions, along with providing some insight into the importance of small-to-medium sized businesses giving back to the community.
1. Your business should be doing something to give back to the community,
in some form or fashion. Beyond the tax benefits and "good will" you build with your customer base
, it's simply the right thing to do. This doesn't mean that everyone has to cut a check and be done with it - there's more to it than that. As part of Emporia Main Street's philosophy, we're always looking for a value-added benefit when approaching people or businesses and asking them for goods, services, or time. We know it's important that the relationship be reciprocal in nature; it's the true definition of "win-win." In turn, both parties receive value for whatever the transaction may be. This same approach can be taken by your business.
2. Your business' values should be reflected in your giving methods, medium, and destination. This seems like a no-brainer, but it can get tricky when you're bombarded with requests, especially around the holidays. In other words, how you give is just as important as what you give. There's an odd sense of cognitive disconnect when a business starts dabbling in an area that isn't specific to them or their value system - it'd be weird seeing Mulready's Pub do raffle drawings for a Miller-Coors event in Golden, CO, just as it'd be strange to see Walmart doing small business workshops.
For example, Radius Brewing Co. takes part in very intentional giving with their "Pours for a Purpose" program. Their methodology - using a craft that's unique to their business structure and implementing it into the community - is one to admire. According to Radius' Brewmaster Jeremy Johns:
"We did it because without the community, Radius wouldn't exist. We wanted to find a way that incorporated something that makes us unique into giving back to the community."
Stick to your value system, and find ways to make it applicable to your giving strategy.
3. It's perfectly fine to say "no thank you" to a donation request. When businesses are inundated as they are with requests, it's hard (especially from a financial standpoint) to do everything for everyone, especially those that don't align with your business' core values. While it may seem disappointing to not be able to fulfill a request, it's absolutely acceptable.
4. Find ways - other than monetary - to give back. As small-to-medium sized business owners, you know all to well that money is tight. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can do good for the community without having to whip out the checkbook.
While doing some research on this topic, I came across an interesting concept from Odell Brewing Company, a premier craft brewery in Fort Collins, CO. They often do company volunteer outings (involving much of the staff) where they do service projects - the unique thing about their approach is that they invite their customers to join them in the project, putting the business' value system front and center. In addition to Odell's brand on the shelf, now customers have the opportunity to see the why behind the company.
Believe it or not, your business expertise is in high demand in the community! Offering your unique skill set
for charity work is a great way to get involved and provide valuable service. This is essentially a donation of time (and talent), which helps when money is in short supply. Marketing via word of mouth is incredibly valuable, and this sort of donation will give you an ample amount of just that!
Be a business that supports employee volunteerism. Many businesses, as a way to attract talent, allow their employees to take a small amount of paid time off to volunteer for a local cause of their choice. If not as a collective effort, this is an incredible gesture to get your employees involved in the community in their own unique way. It also serves as differentiation when you're trying to get people to join your business as employees - and stay there.
5. Don't not do something after you've set the standard. People are creatures of habit. The good will that you may have earned while doing great things for the community can come tumbling down if the action ceases. There are times when it's hard to "do enough," I get that. Given the options detailed in point #4, there are multiple ways of getting your name out there and giving back that aren't exclusively financial.
You know giving and/or donating time is important. You know the importance of how you give, not just what you give. Now the only thing left to do is to come up with an effective strategy and DO it! Emporia is a very caring community with many great local businesses contributing greatly to hundreds of special causes. Make sure your business is in the fold - with purpose!
Did you know???
Last week we met with an out-of-town development group interested in Emporia, assisted a startup with an alternative financing program, held a board meeting, engineered $49,000 for a local building redevelopment project you will hear more about soon, received some ADA training, spoke at the Quad State Development Conference, worked with some local volunteers to plan upcoming Halloween events and finalized some activities associated with the upcoming Freedom Fest. A lot of our favorite activities are right around the corner, and that means we get some great questions from all of you!
1. "What are the locations for this year's Haunted Tours?"- From several community members. The tours meet at White Memorial Park, but we have additional tours at 5 W. 5th, 520 Commercial Street (upstairs and down), 714 Commercial Street and 927 Exchange (the William Allen White house).
2. "Where were you on Friday?" From a local business person who texted. I was speaking at the Quad State Development Conference about leveraged financing and planning as they pertain to rural communities. The conference brings together city planners, architects, engineers, developers and economic development officials from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas to discuss a variety of different community and economic development issues as they pertain to infrastructure and physical build outs.
3. "Why did Chanute Main Street ask you to come speak?" From a volunteer. I'm currently the volunteer president of Kansas Main Street (we will elect new officers and a new board soon). A lot of smaller Kansas communities (and communities in other states) look to some of the innovative ways we have planned development and leveraged financing and attempt to emulate it. We've had a number of communities visit Emporia's downtown, and I occasionally am asked to speak to other communities about specific strategies. This was an instance of a community asking about strategies to deal with a very specific issue that was fairly technical in nature.
4. "Do you feel like the community does a good job taking advantage of ESU Homecoming?" From a local community member. I think both the community and ESU could do a better job maximizing the impact of the event for the city and the university. The best homecomings are an event that feels like a highly anticipated weekend of fun. For those that have moved away, homecoming is literally an excuse to "come home." For the event to contain elements of both the community and the university, both sides have to see value and events need coordination. If the community is truly involved, not all events can be held on campus, and if the university is to benefit, the local businesses and organizations need to promote homecoming as a social gathering occasion. I think that homecoming has a lot of room to grow, but it will only increase in size/scope if we do things differently from how we have done them in the past and emphasize reciprocal benefits.
5. "Any new trends you are seeing in downtowns for fourth quarter?" From a consultant at the Quad State Development Conference. I think one newer trend in pop ups that we will see in Emporia and other areas (especially smaller communities) is something I'm tentatively calling "clicks to mortar" style businesses. We are seeing more and more businesses start as an on-line shop (etsy, e-bay, etc.) and, once they hit a "critical mass" they make the move to a more traditional store front. One way to test the feasibility of a move is to shift on-line components into a "pop up" store for high traffic time periods (like Christmas). As virtual inventory conduits continue to improve, we will see entrepreneurs move into the virtual world as a first step, but eventually most smaller on-line businesses will need a more traditional storefront to test products, build customer loyalty and establish a more consistent base of operations (that doesn't take over a large portion of their home...). I see a few other trends starting, but I think the clicks to mortar is probably the most impactful for the short term.
96 one The Wave
Brickyard 20 Ale House
Emporia Realty Group
Evergreen Design Build
813 Graham Street
2326 Industrial Road
Flint Hills Roofing & Gutter
Longbine Auto Plaza
Red Line Trucking
Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home
Subway - Main Office
Sutherlands Lumber Co.
Emporia Main Street Calendar of Events
Business Enhancement Meeting
8:00 a.m. in the Emporia Main Street office.
Downtown Trick or Treat
Small Business Saturday
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
For more community event listings, please visit:
Do you have an upcoming event for your business or organization?
Let Emporia Main Street know and we may include it on our upcoming calendars!
General Level Members
AKA The Sports Fan
Atherton & Huth
Brown's Shoe Fit Co.
Capstone Insurance Solutions
Chester Press, Inc.
Clark Carpet & Tile, Inc.
Coffelt Sign Co.
Dirty Kanza Promotions
Douglas Chiropractic Center
Ek Real Estate
Emporia Construction & Remodeling
Flint Hills Music
Forget Me Not Productions
Frontier Farm Credit
George Groh & Sons
Gerald Schumann Electric
Granada Coffee Company
Heartland Office Systems
High Gear Cyclery
Junque Drawer Emporium
Kaw Valley Engineering
Little Red Rooster
Lyon County State Bank
Lyon County Title
M&M Military Surplus
Mark II Lumber
McKinzie Pest Control
Menu Foods Midwest
Mike Alpers Agency
Navrat's Office Products
Newman Therapy Services
Paper Moon Antiques
Patricia Dorsey Eye Care
Patrick Werly Realtor
Patton, Putnam & Dean
Pool & Associates
Prairie Sage Apartments
Radius Brewing Co.
Rhinestones & Rust
Sauder Custom Fabrication
The Scoreboard Sports Bar & Grill
Scott's Lawn & Landscaping
Sears "White River Sales"
Thompson Auto Repair
Thompson Family Dental
Thrifts & Gifts
Time Travelers Clock Repair
Town Crier Bookstore
Trust Point Insurance
Wright CPA Group
Non Profit Level Members
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Cradle to Career Center
Emporia Arts Council
Emporia Chamber of Commerce
Emporia Farmers Market
Emporia Friends of the Zoo
Emporia Presbyterian Church
Emporia Friends of the Library
Emporia State Federal Credit Union
ESU Alumni Association
ESU Small Business Development Center
ESU Memorial Union
ESU Theatre Department
Flint Hills Community Health Center
National Teachers Hall of Fame
Saint Francis Community Services
Home Based Business Members
Green Door Recycling
Hornet Fire Protection
Plexus - Leanna Reilly
Tastefully Simple - Vanessa Apodaca
The Purse Lady
Lauren & Nathan Woolard
Tyler & Melanie Curtis
Emporia Main Street
12 E. 5th Avenue
Emporia, KS 66801
If you only want to go where you've already been, always do what you've already done. If you want to achieve something different, you must do things differently.