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A Resource of Elmwood's People

Elmwood's greatest resource is always its people. On this page we will work together to develop plans to make Elmwood a great dynamic community throughout the 21st Century. I am trying to organize a public meeting for next Thursday. I will post details tomorrow. Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:31 PM

I did not, because I was asked to wait. Monday, June21, 2010 10:31 PM

On the right and left are links and photos of small towns where tornados caused damage. We were less damaged than many of these; I encourage you to read about these towns and search for others as we use them as examples of what we might accomplish here. I created an email account specifically intended for Elmwood Recovery ideas. I will post all emails to that account on this page the link is at the top right. Saturday, June 19, 2010 6:36 PM

A very small first step begins today. I invite you to join in the journey.

Steve Davis

I will continue and explore each of these priorities, although some of the implementation strategies may overlap within the five priorities I will try not be repetitive.

A Business Development Strategy

to Revitalize the Downtown Business District

I have read the section of the new recovery plan on the revitalization of the downtown business district. This was the highest priority as determined by the follow up survey. I am not passing judgment on the plan presented, but it is incomplete. No one effort can encompass all the input needed to be successful, so I will fall short, as well. I welcome your input, which I will publish here, if you want to email me.

I will probably be revising this over the next couple of days, it seems I have to reword, correct spelling, and clarify anything I write over several days. I do hope my edits lead to better writing; sometimes it seems the end result still makes the concept of better writing a debatable issue.

Five top priorities of a successful economic plan

1) Increasing profitability of Elmwood businesses

2) Twenty-first century business recruitment

3) Tri-generational sustainable development

4) Synergy in multiple economic enterprises

5) Raising Elmwood's standard of living

Send Your Elmwood Recovery Ideas

Study Other Recovered Communities


Greensburg KS


Parkersburg IA


Utica Illinois


Big Omaha

ZDNET goes to the Prairie

Caveat Emptor
I should note the usefulness and the fallacies of the two surveys. The construction of the survey can not be considered as accurately representative of Elmwood's residents. The first survey was simple and the questions were broad and open to multiple interpretations. Restaurants were high on the list in part, because the J and G Cafe was and is currently not open. Concepts and comments were reduced to single topics or categories. These then were distilled into the second survey.

The first survey was widely distributed but required a short turn around to be returned and may have missed residents not home on that Saturday morning. The follow up survey was not distributed house to house as was the first. The population of neither survey was universal nor randomly distributed. The population of the data set is therefore not statistically significant. The survey is not scientific, but only a rough measure. Any analysis or reasoning based upon it must include several proverbial grains of salt.

Nancy thinks I shouldn't be critical of the process, well I am not. I just don't want the results to be over interpreted. This a common fallacy in statistical studies. The data gathered often doesn't accurately measure what it purports, but once we have a data set we can create charts in wonderful colors. The fallacies of charts, as I call it.



Any strategy, development, or enterprise that does not lead to profitability will not endure. Restaurants were high on the list, but we do not need more restaurants; we need more profitable restaurants. We must acknowledge that our existing businesses have struggled with profitability. Many of the suggestions of needed businesses made by survey respondents included retail enterprises. It is difficult to make retail profitable when a small retailer often can't purchase inventory as cheap as the competitors sell the same goods. In the current retail environment, often products priced to sell would have to be set at or below cost; and volume can not offset this disadvantage. There are strategies that may make retail businesses more profitable.

Many of the costs any business enterprise must support that are common to all businesses. It is possible some economy of scale could be offset if an Elmwood business association aided in lowering these costs. Energy costs need to be evaluated in ways to lower costs for business blocks or grouping of businesses. A dedicated Internet loop could supply data and telecommunication needs for many businesses with the installation of proper cabling. All employers must submit wage withholding reports, a small business spends far more time doing this reporting per employee than a large corporation. Purchasing of office supplies, shipping and transportation costs, as well as IT support and repair may find an efficiency if all our businesses coordinated through a cooperatively owned entity. The multi-national corporations Elmwood businesses compete against are brutal in their cost containment measures.

Businesses trying to compete in a retail world in Elmwood often close before many of their potential customers return to Elmwood. Shared ways to stay open for more hours or to provide evening delivery could increase revenues. Businesses also need to share in marketing their products and Elmwood itself. All businesses need an Internet presence if not a separate domain then a new business section on this site. Businesses need to find something to market on the Internet to reach a world wide market. Elmwood retailers need to try to find ways to market expertise, service, and experience as well as products.

Another way to make Elmwood businesses more profitable is to recruit more non retail businesses to Elmwood. These businesses would bring profits not dependent on store front trade. The owners and workers in these businesses would add to the downtown customer base during daytime hours. This is the next topic 21st Century business recruitment.

I've always found I excelled at the aspects of business I liked, or in activities I liked. I liked the aspects of business or activities I naturally excelled at. You like what you do best and you do best what you like. Any business or individual in business has talents, a business requires a wider array of talents than any of us have. Allowing an individual or business to concentrate their time and talents where they excel will give our businesses in Elmwood unique competitive advantages.

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