PRESENT: Karen Soper, Sam Fox, Ron Steege, Ardie Kuhse, Betty Steege, Theresa Gallagher
The Business & Jobs Committee met on Thursday morning, July 30, 2015, at 10:00 am in the Harpers Ferry City Hall Council Room. Chairperson, Karen Soper opened the meeting with a review of what had been discussed in June. The priorities and issues stated at that meeting dealt with city water, internet service, a possible satellite medical clinic, public transportation and surveying the current Harpers Ferry businesses.
The first thing the group did was to start identifying active businesses in and around Harpers Ferry. The group would like to invite several of those business persons in to talk to the group to help us identify why Harpers Ferry is appealing to them as their business location. There was a strong feeling of this committee that several committee groups of the Vision for the Future do overlap and could/should work together on some visions. Especially mentioned was that this group would like to have businesses be included in the new Harpers Ferry brochure that is being considered and would be willing to give input on business information for that.
There was good discussion – some points being:
As the discussion continued the committee kept coming back to WHERE. A member brought up that an old Victorian House in town was for sale, located on what we would describe as the business corner of Main Street Harpers (Barry’s Mini Mart, Missfitz Bar & Grill, etc). Thoughts were that it could be developed to house a “mini mall” type of business whereby several entrepreneurs could rent a room or space to sell out of. A phone call was made to the realtor of the house and it was available for us to view that day, which we did and are still excited for potentials it could bring. The committee will continue to explore options that may go along with that thinking (would need investors and business interests, etc.)..
Other community thoughts shared at the meeting included:
Allamakee County Economic Development will continue to be an active partner in looking for resources and ideas for the community; Allamakee County Foundation will also be considered as a partner for grant funding opportunities as well as others; the need to seek out local investors, etc.
To move forward with the Victorian House possibility would be a primary goal and/or project for the group to develop as a first step in attracting any small business opportunities.
The next scheduled meeting for this committee will be on Tuesday, August 25th, 7:00 pm at City Hall.
The above constitutes my interpretation of the matters discussed