Connecting Businesses to Make Hutchinson a Stronger Community
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Connecting with businesses and listening to their concerns is a top priority here at the Hutch Chamber and throughout the last month we have had several opportunities to do just that!
On June 12th we hosted an Industry Roundtable, attended by the new Kansas Secretary of Commerce, David Toland. Toland had the opportunity to hear from area businesses about issues impacting their ability to grow and thrive in Kansas. The top of the list was workforce development and the challenge to find talent.
On Monday, June 18th we participated in Lt. Governor Lynn Roger's Rural Prosperity Tour that was organized by the Hutchinson Community Foundation. We got the chance to spend the day showcasing our quality industries with stops at Siemens Gamesa and Kuhn Krause. The group discussed the importance of tourism and agri-business to this area with stops at Simple Abundance Farms and Hedrick Exotic Animal Farm, and highlighted the history and entrepreneurial spirit of Downtown Hutchinson with stops at Smith’s Market, R-B Drive-in and a look into the renovations at the Stevens building and the new community mural, followed by a stop at the Santa Fe Townhomes project. The day concluded with a well-attended public forum held at the Nickerson Kansas Community Center.
Then, on Tuesday, June 19th the Hutch Chamber, along with the Hutchinson Community Foundation, City of Hutchinson, Hutch Rec and Young Professionals of Reno County hosted the "Strong Towns Community Convening" where businesses and people from throughout the community came together to discuss what it will take to build Hutchinson into a stronger community. Those in attendance broke into groups and discussed a variety of topics including private and public funding for projects, options for infill development, downtown development, healthy neighborhoods, and improvements to streets and sidewalks. The information gathered will help drive the direction for the next steps!
To conclude the month, our Greater Hutch and Entrepreneurship Task Force partnered with Haven Economic Development to host the next in the series of Entrepreneurship Connection events which was held on Wednesday, June 26th in Haven. Both new entrepreneurs, as well as veteran business owners, came together to connect and hear first hand two local entrepreneurial stories. Both Kevin Evenson with Sleep Haven, Inc. and Tom Oxley with Haven Steel Products welcomed the group into their business and shared their entrepreneurial story and the lessons they have learned along the way.
As we concluded a busy month of events, we convened the monthly meetings of the Downtown Hutch Coalition committees which heard from City Councilman Steve Dechant about the proposed street improvements.