According to the US National Bureau of Economic Research, the Great Recession officially ended in mid-2009. While the “official end-date” may have been close to six years ago now, I’m sure many people across the Northwoods and the rest of the nation likely feel that they are only now truly getting their feet back underneath them.
I have previously written about how standard economic indicators like home sales, median income, and other statistics show that the Northwoods is mirroring national trends in an overall stronger economic outlook. As we work ourselves back into a more stable economy, it will be increasingly important that both individuals and organizations seek to grasp hold of this unique opportunity to shape the outlook of our area for the next decades.
Since August 2014, the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce has worked in conjunction with the City of Rhinelander, private businesses, and other parties to start the process of creating a shared strategic plan for the Rhinelander area. The City itself completes a comprehensive plan and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce will put together their own strategic plans but those programs are not often created in unison.
What this means is that these plans may share many commonalities but they may not use the same language, objectives, or metrics for how those goals may be achieved. In the end, private and public organizations are all working towards the same goal – to provide a more viable area in which to live and more ways for people to make a good life for their families.
The objective of this joint project will be to create a plan which can be adopted by all organizations working for the advancement of the Rhinelander area. A large part of that process will be gathering ideas and plans from across all segments of the population for ways in which the overall quality of life can continue to be improved.
Problems are always the easiest thing to identify but solutions to those problems are what is really needed. High-level, long-term ideas for how the Rhinelander area can increase its attractiveness to new businesses and young families will hold the most value in creating this vision. If you are someone with these ideas, then I invite you to contact the Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce by visiting www.ExploreRhinelander.com/Contact and submitting your thoughts through our online contact form. I will take submissions forward through this joint process so that a breadth of ideas will have a seat at the table.
The Rhinelander area and the Northwoods as a whole is at an exciting time now as new opportunities for growth are more abundant than they have been in more recent memory. By working cooperatively, public and private organizations, businesses, and individuals will all get to help shape how our area looks for future generations.
Dana DeMet is available at 715-365-7464.