April 26, 2017
What the Small Business Revolution means to Marietta, Ohio
After receiving 14,000 nominations for towns to put in the spotlight during season two of “Small Business Revolution,” we hit the road to visit eight inspiring towns that made our short list of potential finalists. Throughout summer, we’re looking back and sharing the stories of what made each town special – including guest posts from local leaders and some profiles of businesses in these communities. This post, written by Cristie Thomas, executive director of Marietta Main Street, is the second in our weeklong focus on Marietta, Ohio.
Being featured on the Small Business Revolution’s journey to revitalize one small town has been monumental for Marietta, Ohio. The honor of being short-listed as a Top 8 small town, meeting the SBR crew, and having the opportunity to talk about all the ways we love our community on a national platform ignited a renewed focus on community pride. Marietta united behind one cause and uplifted our voices to say “I love #MyMarietta, and here are all the reasons why!”
It can be so easy to become complacent and to go with the flow of our day-to-day lives, but given the opportunity to vision and dream for Marietta like the Small Business Revolution provided filled our community members with excitement by all of the potential our town has to take ourselves to the next level of community. The Small Business Revolution provided the perfect excuse to look at our town with fresh eyes, to love it for what it currently is, and to embrace our own agency in shaping it for the better.
This gift is still being given in numerous ways. For one, Marietta Main Street is hoping to keep the momentum going by building a collaborative of stakeholders to partner with our organization as we move toward an economic development plan for downtown. We are hoping to capture the big dreams our community had during our tenure as a Top 8 small town to formalize that into a multi-year strategic plan. We can be the change we wish to see – we can be our own revolution – and I truly hope we are able to continue facilitating that process for Marietta.
Further, I believe the Small Business Revolution provided a very timely conduit for uplifting the important message of spending money locally. When a person chooses to shop local, that money spent for a new product isn’t a transaction that stays at the register – money spent in small business is an investment in the future of a community. For Marietta, our future could not be brighter.