Someone recently asked me what I thought of all of the “closed” store fronts in our downtown district.
I struggle with how to reply to that. Like many of you who have lived in Tomah for a few decades (or more), I remember when J&R Variety was the “Dime Store”, when Greenwood’s Café was the “Coffee Cup”, and when First Choice Realty was “Gilson’s Appliance.” The lifecycle of a small town is an interesting dynamic that allows us to look back and reflect on the many changes that happen to a downtown. Sure, not all changes are good…we have seen our fair share of bumps in the road; however, not all changes are bad either.
At this time, I feel that we don’t have “closed” businesses, but rather “Open Opportunities.” Thinking of it this way is not only exciting, but invigorating to me. Look at the opportunity we have to bring in something new! Think about the opportunity we have to repurpose and improve buildings! Think about the chance we have to create a new definition of what “Tomah” means to visitors! How can this be anything but exciting?
I am looking at these “Open Opportunities” and putting together our “wish list” of businesses we want in our area. Let’s tell entrepreneurs that Tomah is open for business! Let’s talk about all of the great reasons why Tomah is the place to bring business.
Over the course of the last 10 months, we have taken a long hard look at beautifying, marketing and promoting our community. The city of Tomah is making significant and meaningful steps to position Tomah as the premier place in Wisconsin to attract businesses and visitors alike. I am thrilled to be a part of this conversation and look ahead anxiously at the opportunities that are forming for us. My prediction is that Tomah will look completely different in 5 years because of the work so many of our partners are doing right now.
I feel like the kid who has been standing in line and Disney World and it is finally our turn to ride on the roller coaster. Folks, this is our time. We’re done standing in line. This is our time to turn the corner and be progressive. This is our time join in the conversation about the “Open Opportunities” that we are facing. Right now is the time to utilize the open stores. Right now is the time to join the Chamber and get involved. Right now is the time to grasp this opportunity with both hands and move forward in making the dreams we have all had about our great city a reality. Right now…today…in our office we are saying “This is our time!” Let’s enjoy the ride!