Mattoon and Charleston are looking into a joint venture to hire a company to produce a demographics survey and match up retail business with the area. They gave a sales pitch before the last council meeting and I only caught the last part. I kind of felt like I was listening to a used car salesman, but the council and other business leaders in the room seemed interested in what he had to say.
The company charges the community to do the survey and also charges businesses for the matching the two. I suppose if it all works, everyone is happy. But I didn’t feel comfortable about them charging at both ends. I do like the idea of the cities taking a pro-active approach towards attracting new business. The old method of sitting by the phone and waiting for it to ring wasn’t working real well.
Is this a common method for communities to bring in new retail? Or are we likely throwing our money into the wind?