2 companies, city receive awards
Two local businesses and the city of Tonganoxie were recognized for their achievements last week as part of the Leavenworth Area Business and Industry awards program.
Bichelmeyer's Steakhouse was cited for renovating the former grocery store on Fourth Street and transforming it into an attractive asset to the city.
In addition, Everlasting Specialties' tremendous success was noted. Everlasting Specialties, which manufactures and wholesales dried flower arrangements, is planning a move in several weeks to a building in the Urban Hess Industrial Park. The company recently also was given a merit recognition award by the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing.
The city's work on the $700,000 Fourth Street improvement project also was recognized in the Leavenworth Area Business and Industry award program.
The city and Bichelmeyer's Steakhouse were chosen by the Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce, and Everlasting Specialties was chosen by Leavenworth Area Development.
The awards were presented during the annual Business and Industry Awards Luncheon in Leavenworth.
Mike Reilly, president of Leavenworth Area Development, said the gathering provided the chance to take note of contributions made during the past year by businesses in Leavenworth County.
"Today, we are celebrating good news," he said.
Martin Mini, senior vice president of marketing for the Kansas City Area Development Council, also addressed the nearly 100 people at the luncheon. KCADC, which promotes economic development, is made up of 25 community and more than 200 business partners covering 15 counties in Kansas and Missouri.
Mini said he's tracked eight trends in economic development:
Consultants are king. Today, when a large company plans to locate in an area, the groundwork is laid by consulting firms. "They get hired to choose cities," he said. So courting those consulting firms is important.
Use of the World Wide Web is increasing among companies interested in relocation, so Web sites play an important role in the process.
The Internet also has increased people's expectations. "Faster, faster, faster," Mini said.
With that speed, demands for customer service will increase. "We've become more removed because of technology," he said. "There's been a disconnect."
Use of words or images to identify a community or region are imperative. Mini cited the "Smart Cities" campaign that started several years ago for the Kansas City metro area. "We've had a lot of fun with people playing off the 'smart' idea," he said, adding that Lenexa uses "Smart Play" and the Kansas Highway 10 corridor between Kansas City and Lawrence is referred to as the "Smart Corridor."
Companies look first at regions of the country, then cities, when determining where to operate.
Good marketing requires identifiable images, such as jazz, barbecue or steaks for Kansas City.
Perception is everything. Therefore, publicity is a requirement to success. "What people think of us is as important as what you are," he said.