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Building a Vibrant Community

In Chapter 2 of Building a Vibrant Community, Quint Studer shares “The Pensacola Story” – the story of his own community. Every community wants to be a special place for its residents where safety and good jobs are afterthoughts. Studer acknowledges that there had been many attempts to revitalize Pensacola over the years. Plans were paused or halted more than once.

Studer describes a vibrant community as “A place where young people can stay home after college and still fulfill their potential, a place that attracts talent and private investments, a place where a strong tax base leads to financial health. A place that’s safe and clean with a great education system.”

Research by Gallup found that a vibrant downtown must offer the following:

• Programming that brings lots of people downtown on a regular basis;

• Retail and entertainment options;

• Office space options;

• Diverse residential options; and,

• (This one’s a bonus.) The presence of a college or university. Think Davis & Elkins College!

What gets in the way of our building a vibrant community? Often, there are setbacks, whether Hurricane Ivan or COVID-19. It may be a lack of funds, stakeholder disagreements, election cycles, or economic changes. We can’t let these stop us. The time is now to invest not only in buildings, but also in training and development, and civic engagement. The ROI on these investments is a better community and quality of life for everyone.

Though we face the setback of an unprecedented pandemic, we can’t halt our efforts. So, what’s next? Do you have business, leadership, or community questions? Join us on Wednesday, May 13 from 2-3:30 p.m. for a Q&A with Quint Studer himself (via Zoom).

Not only can Quint offer guidance based on his decades of helping organizations get through tough times, in the past few weeks he’s harvested lots of creative solutions and best practices from some of America’s leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, and communities.

Since day one of the COVID-19 crisis, Quint has been on the frontlines with business owners and community leaders. He knows firsthand the issues you are facing and can help you “sharpen your saw” and come out stronger on the other side.

We hope you’ll register for this one-of-a-kind conversation today at www.erccc.com and join us on May 13.

Bell is the Vice President, Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, and the Chair, Vibrant Community Cross Promotion Task Force.

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