Saturday, February 2, 2019

Local News: Monett Chamber survey prompts business ideas (2/2/19) - Monett Times

Online query shows interest in more eateries, events

An online survey by the Monett Chamber of Commerce to gather ideas on Monett’s future prompted exchanges that reflected limitations and aspirations within the business community.

Jeff Meredith, executive director for the Chamber, threw the question “What do you want to see in Monett in 2019?” out on Facebook as an open ended query, inviting responses from an audience the Chamber may not otherwise reach. The question had 170 comments, nine shares and was estimated to have reached 3,840.

Meredith said one of the more consistent responses pleaded for new restaurants.

“We had people who want to see an Applebee’s, or a LongHorn Steak House or a Chick-fil-A,” Meredith said. “That’s just not feasible. Those chains have minimum population requirements [in the towns where they are located, usually 10,000 people].”

However, other topics arose where the Chamber can take a more active role. For example, Meredith said several spoke about having more sidewalks in town. City leaders have begun looking at that possibility.

“A dog park came up,” Meredith said. “We’re considering that as a Monett Main Street project for 2019. Several board members are interested.”

The Chamber, Meredith noted, is a vessel that partners with other organizations. With a reasonable idea, the Chamber can raise money and donate it to the city for specific action.

Meredith found interest in fans of a bowling alley, a skating rink and more events.

“It’s amazing to me that people want what they used to have,” Meredith said. “Someone said, ‘I want Singleton’s Pizza,’ the family-run business once located at Fifth and Broadway. One wanted a skating rink that had a big space and a snack bar, or a family fun center with the roller skating rink and bowling. People want what they have fond memories of. Others wanted more youth activities. One suggested turning the former Hyde Trailer Park property on Highway 60, east of Plaza Drive, into a food truck park.”

Some respondents asked about getting additional street lights. Those were passed to the city for consideration.

“The Chamber board has looked at a lot of these ideas,” Meredith said. “Some are feasible. Skating rinks aren’t being built these days. Before I’d consider a project like that, I’d want to see the YMCA skating night at capacity. If you want more food trucks, you need to have those that are here so swamped that they need to set up more services.

“If you want more services downtown, you have to attend what’s being put on. If you like the businesses we have now, show them some financial love. It’s all about profitability. If someone is interested in starting a business, the Chamber can help create a business plan. If anyone expresses an interest, here’s what’s out there.”

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