ALTON — Alton area business leaders met April 29 for a luncheon to kick off a new set of initiatives aimed at enhancing Alton’s business strength.
Liberty Bank President Dale Blachford, John Simmons of Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm, Bob Ramsey of Bob Ramsey Seminars, and Lewis and Clark Community College President Dr. Dale Chapman all presented ways every business person can increase their vital role in the rebirth of Alton business.
Light Up Alton was the theme. New committees were formed and most attendees signed up to chip in and help create more business activities. Key initiatives discussed were: to attract new businesses, to get everyone in town excited about the National Great Rivers Research Center, to attract young professionals and to fund startups that locate in the area.
“This is really a shot in the arm for our local businesses,” said Monica Bristow of RiverBend Growth Association. “We already have a great business community but coming together to share each others’ vision and make plans for the future is so valuable.”
Light Up Alton grew out of a meeting of the Strategic Circle, an executive roundtable of business people. Their concern for the community’s business health led to this effort.
“A town can’t thrive or attract quality jobs without good businesses run by good people,” Cope Plastics President Jane Saale said. Jane is a longstanding member of the Strategic Circle. “To really succeed as a community, we need to do all we can to help businesses here flourish.”
Several people took Light Up Alton yard signs to help spread the word.
“We need everyone in the community to support our local businesses,” Blachford said. “Every business here means new jobs. And that’s good for Alton.”
A new website, www.lightupalton.com, was launched to encourage and inform the key business-building initiatives presented at the luncheon and to help build momentum for Alton businesses.