Loss of businesses can create opportunities.


Smith Center Economic Development Director Garoleen Wilson wrote in the April 2,2015 edition of the Smith County Pioneer.

A community can survive anything. Communities have lost factories, businesses, schools, and grocery stores. Towns have been physically damaged by fires, floods, and tornadoes. The people who lived through each crisis could tell you just how hard it was. It was probably harder than they ever expected. For every town that has survived, there are two that did not. We don’t want to be one of those two.

As a community, Smith County has had their share of bad news lately. First the closing of Alco and then Peterson Industries. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, look at our positives. Smith Center has a history of working together to make our community thrive. We have available buildings and a skilled workforce.

What makes the difference in towns that survive and towns that struggle? You do. You shape the future of our town. Treat the loss of Peterson Industries as past. How can we build with what we have? What specifically can you do to shape our town? Grow more businesses. Shop Local is more than a tag line. It is a frame of mind.

The best thing you can do for your town is start your own successful small business. Currently there are small businesses that are committed to making a difference in Smith Center. Cole’s Auto Supply on North Main will be opening April 6th as a Napa Parts Store; The Twisted Petal will be moving to their new building on East Court Street in June; Amy Howland D.V.M. will be expanding her services with the purchase of the building where she currently parks her mobile clinic on Highway 36. Pet boarding will replace the grooming services; Blue Rapids Greenhouse will be opening the Smith Center Greenhouse this growing season and it will be managed locally; Computer Solutions was purchased by Nex-Tech and most of their employees will be transferred to the new company; Kingsbury Service recently received the Emerging Business of the year award from KSBDC. This list could go on.

If you have an idea, stop by the Economic Development Office at 219 S Main to see how we can help make your dreams and ideas come true.