Heart & Soul Talks: Big Ideas for Small Town Business Success

Heart & Soul Talks

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm


From farm-to-table restaurants and food co-ops to craft breweries and tech startups, it’s an exciting time for small town businesses. Cultivating those businesses and encouraging entrepreneurs is key to thriving local economies. Our panelists, who have owned businesses, worked with entrepreneurs, and helped make their downtowns vibrant, share the secrets of their success.

Speakers are:

Becky McCray, business owner, author, and publisher of Small Biz Survival, a blog about the challenges and successes of doing business in a small town. Her no-nonsense perspective on local economies lands her in publications from The New York Times to The High Plains Journal. Home is Hopeton, Oklahoma (pop. 30).

Joe Wasson, business owner;  founder,  McComb Economic Development Organization;  project coordinator,  McComb Region Heart & Soul.  Joe owned and managed his family’s furniture business in downtown McComb, Ohio, (pop. 1,600), which closed in 2013. Since then he has worked tirelessly to recruit new businesses to town, forming the McComb Economic Development Organization and securing a grant for a regional Community Heart & Soul project.

Patrick Wright, executive director, Gardiner Main Street;  economic and community development coordinator, Gardiner, Maine (pop. 6,000). Patrick has been front and center in the revitalization of Gardiner’s downtown. In addition to being a partner in the town’s Community Heart & Soul project, Gardiner Main Street is one of three partners in the Gardiner Growth Initiative, an incentive program for  drawing businesses to the town.