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We’re In This Together: What Makes Our Community Thrive?

Friday, February 21, 2020

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Community is important. In today’s world it can be easy to lose sight of just how vital it is for us to live in community with one another. It’s easy to become isolated in the non-stop busy schedules we have and forget that we’re part of a larger picture here in Kosciusko County.

The Foundation Of Our Communities

We live in a unique community where both small and large businesses contribute to the success of our towns and cities.

Small Business Owners

Locally-owned small businesses and organizations are the key to helping communities like ours not only survive, but grow. When organizations are engaged in their communities, citizens tend to also become engaged and experience stronger social networks and high track records of successful problem-solving.

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These traits are exactly what the cities that make up Kosciusko County need the most to continue to thrive both economically and socially.

What is it about a town’s economy that encourages strong social ties and interaction? Being able to do business with those who know us and whose success is connected to the overall growth of our local economy is a powerful incentive. When you know that your purchase at a local store can directly improve the owner’s life and promote more business growth within the community, aren’t you more likely to shop there?

Independent, local businesses tend to create environments that actively encourage everyday, positive social interactions. Think about it: aren’t you more likely to end up chatting with another person while you inspect produce at a local famer’s market? Moments like this might seem unimportant, but they’re an essential part of what can help us create strong communities.

Large Businesses And Organizations With Local Ties

While smaller, local businesses are a vital part of our community, so are the larger businesses and organizations spread throughout Kosciusko County. These larger corporations and businesses provide the majority of our community with job opportunities and often heavily invest in our community’s growth and innovation.

Companies like these aren’t the only larger organizations making a difference in Kosciusko County, so do local government officials, teachers, and administrators who work for our local schools and municipalities.

When larger businesses and organizations work to bridge the gap by partnering with individual business owners and community leaders, that’s when communities can truly grow and thrive.

Coming Together As A Community

People coming together to talk about what matters to them, working together to promote growth and change is a vital part of our community. Two of our Clearly Kosciusko members are uniquely equipped to help cultivate these kinds of conversations and growth.

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Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce

The goal of our county’s chamber of commerce is to, “be the voice of our members to stimulate healthy and diverse business growth in our community”. They accomplish this by connecting local business leaders through groups like Chamber Ambassadors, Community Green Works, Public Policy Committee, and more. 

If being a part of a committee isn’t of interest to you, try attending a networking opportunity hosted by groups like Young Adult Professionals (YAP) and Combined Community Services.

Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation (KEDCo)

KEDCo exists to convene, build, and share our county’s economic growth resources. Their goal is to help support local businesses at every stage and help them navigate opportunities for growth.

Trying to grow your business can be overwhelming, especially if you feel like you have to do it alone. KEDCo believes that the more we work together to grow and succeed, the more likely we are to keep improving our Kosciusko County community.

KEDCo has a variety of resources for local businesses to use to help build partnerships and programs designed to help our community thrive.

What You Can Do As An Individual

You’ve decided you want to better support our local community. That’s great! But where should you start? Trying to make a positive impact locally can be overwhelming when you’re faced with so many options, so take a look at the list below to get started.

Buy local food and items whenever possible

Independent stores, restaurants, and other local businesses are spread throughout Kosciusko County. Whenever you can, try to purchase items and services directly from our local suppliers. Supporting local businesses this way supports local families and encourages community growth and potential new business.

Get involved in local government

This is one of the best ways to be aware of bigger issues our community faces and help create positive changes. Do you know who your local mayor is? What about members of the school board or city council? Get involved and find out how you can connect with Kosciusko County’s local government officials.

Discover if your employer is involved in our community

If you work for a larger company or organization in Kosciusko County, find out if they participate in local community initiatives and events. Volunteer your time to make sure your employer is represented at local fairs, activities, and community events.

Be socially aware of those within our community

Being aware of social issues around us is the first step toward solving potential problems that face people in our community. Look for ways to volunteer, to build bridges socially, and learn about the diverse groups of people who make up our community.

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Food banks, neighborhood associations, and community centers are organizations that are frequently looking for volunteers and participants to help those within our community. Non-profit organizations like One Warsaw can be positive resources for community members to come together to support, celebrate, and include everyone. 

The goal of Clearly Kosciusko is to empower our community to create and share what makes our county and community so special. By building relationships with one another in small ways every day we strengthen our community and help foster growth.

Ready to become a member?

Membership is free to all organizations and businesses within Kosciusko County. Click here to get the application process started!