See how this Midwestern city utilizes analytics to grow their community.
Lebanon, MO city leaders see quick success after partnering with Buxton and implementing their retail recruitment plan.
CHRIS HEARD: Hi I’m Chris
Heard, City Administrator, City of Lebanon.
Lebanon is a service oriented
community. Because of our large manufacturing base our population doubles
during the day-time, and a lot of folks are probably commuting within 30
minutes of our community, to come to work and so once they’re here they do a
lot of their shopping and they do a lot of their entertainment before heading
home. I had a group of business folks in the community that really wanted to
take REDI, the economic development organization, out of just primary job
recruitment and really start looking at retail. So, I was tasked to find a
provider that could help us through that; and in that process, I discovered
Buxton and we ultimately entered into a three-year partnership with them.
BRIAN THOMPSON: Lebanon
Regional Economic Development Incorporated, or REDI, started as a public
private partnership in 2004. Buxton was able to match us with 20 potential
retailers or restaurants, that fit our community’s profile. And through that we
were able to make initial contact and actually get a response from
approximately 75% of those initial 20 matches. Also, throughout the process
we’ve been able to see three of those matches come to Lebanon already in the
first year alone. We have now more of an “outside the box” mindset than we’ve
had maybe in the last 15-20 years. On the backbone of the great manufacturing
footprint that has existed here from almost the very beginning of time for Lebanon,
now coupled with a strong retail recruitment arm, I think the sky is certainly
the limit for our community and county.
CHRIS: I think the most
valuable land in a community is redevelopment land, because you’ve got a lot of
the infrastructure there you’re not putting new infrastructure. And so, when I
look at redevelopment projects, I like in feel and I like that fact that I can
find niche retailers to fit in those areas. Like the Allen Building downtown,
to me that was our first manufacturing facility in the community, built it in
1940’s. And so, from that perspective, to turn that into a vibrant retail space
downtown, is going to be the ultimate win for the community of Lebanon. Whether
it’s a redevelopment of the Allen Building, it’s investing and trying to get
doctors here through the services that we are providing, Buxton can be that
partner that allows us to recruit those retailers to give us the income to put
in different public infrastructure that makes us a more vibrant