Beans and Rice sponsored a Community Economic Development forum: Downtown Pulaski Needs Us, this past April. The focus of the forum was to generate strategies grounded in best practice to strengthen and expand existing businesses and support the development of new businesses in the Town of Pulaski. Eric Bucey, Executive Director of Beans and Rice started the day by focusing on 7 themes important to small town community development:

  • Community Development is economic development
  • Successful efforts are proactive and future-oriented, embrace change and assume risk
  • A Broadly held local vision is essential
  • Assets and opportunities yield innovative strategies
  • Innovative local governance, partnerships, and organizations help
  • Identify, measure and celebrate short-term successes
  • There must be a comprehensive package of strategies and tools

The forum featured a panel of experts who emphasized collaboration between organizations as a key to success in bringing Pulaski back after years of economic downturn, as well as the need for long-term plans, breaking out of comfort zones, and encouraging the community to embrace individual leadership roles. A community planning asset exercise and business plan competition is also in the works for Fall 2015. To learn more: Eric Bucey, or click here.

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