One of the most important issues that we face in Homewood (and really, in any community) is how to stimulate and manage economic development.
At the village board level, we develop plans and strategies for attracting the attention of potential businesses. We create incentives to tempt them into signing a lease and opening up shop.
At the village staff level, we come up with a zillion ideas on how to support existing businesses. Holiday Lights, Chocolate Fest, Chili Fest – all of our downtown community events are designed to get feet on the pavement and money in the cash registers. Pop-up art galleries, the French Market and social media are all used to bring people downtown to see everything Downtown Homewood has to offer.
At the community level, we have residents who come up with amazing ideas like Cash Mobs, which bring people to a targeted business and drive up its sales in a micro-version of economic stimulus.
But none of these initiatives will accomplish a thing without the most important component of all – you.
Economic development is driven by sales. All the incentives, festivals and parties in the world can’t hold a candle to the power of a simple sale. We need you to show your support of Homewood businesses by actually supporting those businesses. Buy something. Get a massage. Take a lesson. Have a meal.
Keep your dollars in Homewood, and the investment will pay off in the form of more businesses and fewer vacancies. We will see new revenues for the village, the schools, the parks and the libraries. We will have more amenities, more services and more home sales.
Economic development isn’t something that the other guy takes care of for us. It’s everyone’s responsibility. And together, we can make this happen. So go ahead – order yourself a pizza. You’ll be glad you did.