As you know, the Dwight Economic Alliance works tirelessly on behalf of the business community to build an atmosphere where business can thrive. This volunteer organization could not exist if not for the generosity of our members and the many hours put forth by our volunteers to advance our cause.
As we approach 2020 with optimism, I would like to highlight a few items for you to consider as you think about your contribution to the Dwight Economic Alliance for 2020.
We are especially grateful to the Village of Dwight for our partnership which has allowed us to more effectively serve the community. This year we were able to help the Dwight Fire Department significantly upgrade some lifesaving equipment through our Fund A Need at our annual auction. We have partnered with the Starved Rock Alliance to offer comprehensive counseling to teach the skills needed to open a new business to entrepreneurs in the area. There is help every step of the way, including assistance in creating a business plan that will ensure long term success of small businesses. Most recently, we have announced a partnership with the Dwight Bank, Branch of Pontiac. As an annual Platinum Member ($4,000 level) of the Dwight Economic Alliance since we formed five years ago, they have doubled down on their investment by intending to donate their historic building to us to use as a small business incubator as they invest in a new downtown location for themselves.
We continue to see local business and community benefits from the events we put on and are constantly tweaking them to find the most benefit for the whole community. Based on feedback, we changed the Christmas Parade to Saturday night this year and were blown away by the additional entries, volunteers, and attendance. Downtown was busy for hours after the parade. We are currently planning on moving our Route 66 Smoke Out downtown in May of 2020. As we plan events, we try to strike a balance between frugality and quality. Our strategy is always to benefit our community rather than profiting on the event itself. Please reach out if you see a way that your business could be better impacted by these events.
When you look around Dwight, the investments being made in this community are obvious. Between the Village investments in streets and new buildings going up, it is easy to see that Dwight is on the move and thriving. The Dwight Economic Alliance is working hard on your behalf to make sure that continues. Our goals for 2020 will include leveraging our new building to make sure a small business incubator is successfully adding small businesses to Dwight, IL. This will give us space to meet with potential business owners, offer training, and potentially offer space for the business itself. This space can subsidize one of the biggest hurdles when starting a small business. Our primary goal will be lots of singles rather than home runs, while we continue to look for large opportunities for our area.
A small community relies on everyone working together to achieve goals, and we need your support to continue to advance our mission. We need the financial backing to continue to bring people to Dwight, help current businesses as needed, get our business incubator up and running, and provide quality events to make Dwight the community of choice to live and work.
Rodney Connor, President, Dwight Economic Alliance