A very special series of interactive, education/action sessions is coming to Merrill this spring and early summer. The purpose of these sessions is to inspire citizens to take definitive action toward making the Merrill area a more dynamic, successful community.
Speakers with varied experiences will discuss how those who work and live in the Merrill area can create and implement a shared vision for the city that will lead to positive change and build on all the good things that are already happening here. These free sessions will focus on various features that help make cities more dynamic. (Also see the accompanying guest commentary in this newspaper for more information.)
• Thriving Businesses #1: (April 18) Learn about and develop creative ways to enhance retail development and create a “sense of place” that locals and tourists want to visit.
• “For the Love of Cities”: (May 9) Join well known author and speaker Peter Kageyama as he explores with you ways to help make Merrill an even more dynamic city that is truly loved by its residents and visitors.
• Thriving Businesses #2: (May 23) Join a statewide expert as he discusses the power of Inventors & Entrepreneurs clubs and how they benefit established local businesses and help create an environment for supportive new business development.
• Importance of Broadband in Local Business Development: (June 13) Staff at the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions will discuss how important broadband is to helping businesses expand their markets and remain highly competitive. They will also talk about efforts to bring broadband to smaller cities and rural areas throughout the state.
During the two Thriving Business sessions, also join local business owners and managers as they discuss why they brought their businesses to Merrill, why they stay in Merrill, and what further assistance they need to continue to thrive.
Each session will include developing methods to carry forward the visionary ideas mentioned during keynotes and action planning. Citizen teams will be formed to carry out those ideas with ongoing support provided by program sponsors the Merrill Area Community Foundation, Church Mutual, Inc., the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, Lincoln County. Sessions will take place at the Merrill Eagles Club from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is free. For more information or to RSVP at least a week before the event or for all of the sessions call Art Lersch, UW-Extension (539-1075) or the Chamber at 536-9474.