Dear Editor,

Yes, we should build on strengths, and on our differences, too; if building is our purpose. For that reason, I am grateful for the anonymous sound off submission from the Oct. 31 edition of the EagleHerald.

Our community’s participation in the Small Business Revolution, by Deluxe Corp. was a strength-building exercise. It was not to win for the sake of winning, but to discover what we have. It was an exercise worth its weight in what the community makes out of it.

Here is a sample of what we did. Our citizens pulled together to challenge the other towns in the competition. Both Marinette and Menominee high school bands inspired us when they practiced and performed together. The first time was not the last time that would happen. Citizens and both cities displayed banners across the Interstate Bridge connecting both towns, counties and states in admiration of a newfound unity.

A bridge walk was held on New Year’s Day sacrificing warmth to experience solidarity. Marinette and Menominee City Councils met together in one session for the first time in history, acknowledging citizens’ hope for collaboration in government. We discovered the large ratio of local small businesses for our size community. There was an awakening of local companies and what they can accomplish when working together. We got a taste of the potential community impact of buying from local independent businesses. We generated an overwhelming and positive social media narrative with reach more significant than any other community in the competition. We can be proud of holding the most real and impactful joint community welcome event deluxe had experienced before. We had a voting network established that would have put our community on the national map. Businesses that previously competed locally realized they are all on the same team when it comes to serving our community.

We were not chosen as the top town, but I was not participating to win for the sake of winning, but for discovering what we have, for proving to ourselves what we can accomplish. Participation was only an objective on the path to a higher purpose. So, what did we gain? The answer rests in how we act on our strengths and talents going forward and choosing not to waste our energy on bitterness. Taking action to move forward, using our abilities, and gaining a new perspective is what we are doing. The process of regional branding, and living a shared vision helps us focus all our good works along the lines of one mission. That is, to build a more vibrant community.

The mission that we had before The Small Business Revolution still remains.


Keith Killen