‘Rewriting the Rural Narrative’ showing at Business Networking Event

Ben Winchester talking to a young family. Photo courtesy of Univ of Minnesota Extension
Ben Winchester talking to a young family. Photo courtesy of Univ of Minnesota Extension

Belleville – Republic County Economic Development will host the latest edition of “Launch and Grow”, a business networking event, April 29th from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Blair Theatre on the Belleville downtown square. Launch and grow provides an opportunity for education, collaboration, and networking for county businesses and potential startups. 

Luke Mahin, RCED Director said, “Launch and Grow began in 2018 with a group of seven businesses who attended the Jon Schallert DestinationBusiness Workshop in Colorado and requested additional opportunities to connect with business owners outside their business. Often business owners are so busyworking in their businesses it’s a challenge to step back work on theirbusiness, let alone learn about each other’s successes and challenges.”

Launch and Grow has been hosted across the county in Belleville, Cuba, Scandia and returns to Belleville in April. RCED partners with Belleville Chamber & Main Street to provide information on relevant topics for each event. Educational topics have ranged from local business programs, small businessmarketing ideas, and downtown redevelopment resources. RSVP’s are appreciated foran accurate count for food provided thanks to a grant from NetWork Kansas.

At 6:40 pm a pre-recorded webinar will be featured on the Blair’s big screen titled, “Rewriting the Rural Narrative”, by Ben Winchester. Ben is a Senior Research Fellow from the University of Minnesota Extension who is a leader in rural demographics.

There are people choosing to move to your town for what you are today and what you will be — not what you were.

— Ben Winchester

Smallbizsurvival.com on Ben Winchester’s work:

“Ben Winchester has a positive view of rural for good reason: he’s done the research.

The media loves to talk about the brain drain of young people leaving rural communities. Ben’s research says there’s another trend, maybe more powerful. Adults age 30-44 are returning to rural communities, bringing higher incomes, better education, and more businesses. This then is a brain gain that makes a big difference in rural communities.”

After the webinar RCED will provide time for business networking and conversation.

Mahin continued, “This event has been valuable for businesses to get outside their day-to-day, learn about another community, change their mindset, learn from business veterans, and assist younger owners. We have seen 20-30 businesses attend each event from six cities in 2018.”

This event is free for county businesses. If you would like to attend, please RSVP for an accurate count for food by calling 785-374-3047 or email rced@nckcn.com.

Launch and Grow Partners