By Tyler Notch, President, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Constant improvement is the most common term I hear when discussing my 2023 theme of Better Than Yesterday. However, I feel Better than Yesterday is a theme that can be used in a variety of diverse ways to bring focus to overall growth among a community of people.
For example, I recently spoke at the Creative Touch Boutique ribbon cutting and got to witness a crowd of close to 50 community members gather to support a local business open its doors. To take that even further, throughout the speeches during the ribbon cutting, there was no shortage of thank you’ s given to local contractors, businesses and individuals that helped make that dream a reality.
Moments like this give us an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a community over the last few years. Three years ago, our world was at a standstill, and we had no idea when we were going to be able to bounce back and start living our lives again. Fast forward to today and we are not just living, we are thriving as a community.
There are plenty of examples of communities that have not been able to rebound after what COVID put us through, but our community of Alexandria is a shining example of how we are able to persevere together, collaborate to support each other’s dreams and come out stronger on the other side.
I recently read an article from the Penn State Extension about a study done in 1986 by David McMillan and David Chavis. This study looked at the four factors that consistently showed up as attributes that we all look for in a good community. Those four factors are listed below.
How do you feel Alexandria and our surrounding lakes area communities are doing in these four aspects?
To me, we are providing our community members with opportunities to have each one of those needs fulfilled in one way or another. Sure, we have plenty to work on as a community but when you look at how we’ve been able to learn about the needs of each other and our community over the course of the last three plus years, we are building upon a foundation that continues to make us one of the best areas to live, work, play and prosper.
A lot of this foundation is built upon the collaboration we see among our community. Specifically, since the COVID era, I have seen more “shop local” focus in our community. Whether it’s buying that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on, trying some local cuisine or building a new building and choosing to use local contractors, builders, etc. that collaboration and focus on supporting each other has been the main reason we’ve become stronger as a community.
As we move forward through 2023 my challenge for all of you is to continue building upon the foundation, we’ve set for ourselves over the last few years. Use the theme of “Better Than Yesterday” as a source for your future but also a reminder to look back at how far we’ve come together.
We have a world ahead of us that will present all of us with challenges, obstacles, and difficulties, but if we lean on each other and focus on collaborating, we can build our community to be even better than it was yesterday.