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As the ole saying goes, “Teamwork indeed makes the dreamwork” is especially true when it comes to helping small local communities thrive in challenging times. I have written about teamwork

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Teamwork Indeed Makes the Dreamwork!

09 July 2024

As the ole saying goes, “Teamwork indeed makes the dreamwork” is especially true when it comes to helping small local communities thrive in challenging times. I have written about teamwork many times, and I am sure this won’t be the last time, it is so critical.  The collaboration between media, chambers of commerce, Main Street organizations, and local government can create a powerful synergy that drives economic growth, social cohesion, and community resilience. Let's see how this teamwork might be effectively implemented and the potential benefits it brings.

 

Local media outlets play a crucial role in disseminating information and shaping public opinion. By working closely with chambers of commerce, Main Street organizations, and local government, they can create a cohesive narrative that highlights community strengths, promotes local businesses, and informs residents about important initiatives.

For example, a study by the Pew Research Center found that 71% of U.S. adults believe small community local news media companies are doing well financially, even though only 14% say they have paid for local news in the past year. This disconnect presents an opportunity for local media to partner with other stakeholders to create sustainable business models that serve the community's information needs.

 

Chambers of commerce and Main Street organizations are typically at the forefront of local economic development efforts. By collaborating with local government and media, they can amplify their impact: They can encourage joint business support programs.  Local government can provide resources and funding, chambers can offer expertise and networking, and media can promote these initiatives.  A great example might be, according to the National Main Street Center, every dollar invested in Main Street programs generates $39.44 in new investment. By sharing data and insights, stakeholders can make more informed decisions about resource allocation.

 

Main Street organizations often rely heavily on volunteer efforts. A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that the average volunteer rate in the United States is 24.9%. By working together, local stakeholders can coordinate volunteer efforts across multiple organizations, use media channels to recruit volunteers and showcase their impact, and leverage government resources to support and recognize volunteer contributions.

 

Collaborative efforts can significantly enhance a community's appeal to visitors and potential new residents. Media outlets can work with chambers and Main Street organizations to create compelling content that showcases local attractions and events.  Local government can work with business organizations to identify and prioritize projects that enhance the community's aesthetic and functionality.  Joint efforts can lead to more successful and well-attended community events, which can boost local economy and foster community pride.

 

By pooling resources, communities can more effectively pursue grants and other funding opportunities. According to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, communities that demonstrate strong partnerships and collaborative approaches are more successful in securing federal grants.  Local media can help raise awareness about funding needs and successes, while chambers and Main Street organizations can provide data and case studies to support applications.

 

Addressing skills gaps and workforce needs requires coordination between education providers, businesses, and government. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reports that 74% of hiring managers say there is a skills gap in the current labor market. By working together, local stakeholders can create targeted training programs and apprenticeship opportunities.  Media can highlight success stories and promote available programs, while government can provide funding and policy support.

 

As technology continues to reshape local economies, collaboration can help ensure no one is left behind. According to the Federal Communications Commission, 19 million Americans still lack access to broadband internet. Local government can work with chambers and Main Street organizations to identify gaps and implement solutions.  Media outlets can provide digital literacy resources and highlight the importance of technology adoption for local businesses.

 

In conclusion, the power of teamwork in small local communities cannot be overstated. By fostering strong partnerships between media, chambers of commerce, Main Street organizations, and local government, communities can leverage their collective strengths to overcome challenges and create thriving, resilient environments for their residents. This collaborative approach not only addresses immediate needs but also builds a foundation for long-term success and sustainability.

 

John Newby is a nationally recognized Columnist, Speaker, & Publisher. He consults with Chambers, Communities, Business & Media. His “Building Main Street, not Wall Street,” column appears in 60+ newspapers and media outlets. As founder of Truly-Local, he assists chambers, communities, media, and businesses in creating synergies that build vibrant communities. He can be reached at: John@Truly-Local.org.