Two weeks ago 23 Essex area entrepreneurs gathered at the Essex Inn to brainstorm regional economic sustainability and community vitality. This was the third gathering to explore a broad-based coalition of Essex area businesses and organizations. To date 43 enthusiastic community members have participated, and momentum for revitalizing Essex and environs continues to grow.
Economic Vitality in Essex
Promote economic vitality, quality of life and sense of community in Essex, the Boquet River Valley and surrounding areas.
Several committees were formed and tasked with vision and strategy projects ranging from selecting a name for the initiative to developing a draft marketing plan. Phillips reflected on progress so far:
I’m completely taken aback by the high level of interest, enthusiasm, and ideas. Everyone has been so positive and supportive of this effort. My hope is that we gain equal representation from businesses and organizations on and off Main Street that work in a positive direction to develop and promote efforts to encourage greater tourism, economic vitality, and building a sound, strong, year-round community of happy natives in Essex.
Enthusiasm and Cooperation
Lanai Monahan and Keith Castro graciously hosted the January 14th meeting at the Essex Inn. The convivial atmosphere set attendees at ease, and inspired a warm round of introductions. Fascinating stories were shared ranging from longstanding local entrepreneurs like Donna Sonnet to more recent arrivals just venturing into the local marketplace.
Bill McClay, Chairman of the Willsboro Development Corp., and Dee Carroll, President of the Westport Chamber of Commerce, encouraged cooperation and partnership between an Essex area entrepreneurs collective and their organizations to ensure leverage of existing resources and comprehensive regional initiatives and to avoid redundancies.
Attendees agreed that working together will profit everyone’s individual enterprises while simultaneously improving the prospect of a sustainable, year-round economy and vibrant community. Questions regarding inclusivity and focus emerged at several points, especially in terms of branding the initiative and developing a marketing plan. While much work remains to be done before a definitive organizational and marketing plan are adopted, the incredibly enthusiastic tone of the meeting inspires optimism for anyone living and working in the Essex area.
If you would like to get involved, please contact us, and we will ensure that you are contacted when the next meeting is scheduled.
- Essex-Whallonsburg Entrepreneurs Unite! (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- New Year’s Resolutions 2014 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Upcoming Essex Events 1/26-2/2 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)