Strictly Business Teamwork can benefit businesses

first_imgWhen he grew tired of new customers expressing surprise at finding his hardware store in the heart of Woodland, Tom Golik figured it was time to raise downtown’s profile. He pulled together a small group of civic-minded citizens, talked to leaders in city government and at the Port of Woodland, and helped launch an organization called Downtown Woodland Revitalization.That was in September 2000. Last month Golik, now retired, put out word that he and the remaining handful of downtown activists were too few, and too weary, to continue. The organization will remain active and continue a summer concert series, according to its simple new release, but will pare down its meeting schedule and reduce its work “because of a lack of active members.”Certainly, plenty of work remains. Woodland, mostly located in Cowlitz County, is on no one’s must-see list with its sleepy downtown and its distinctly local hangout Horseshoe Lake. While downtown’s established businesses are holding their own, Golik concedes the city has had little success in attracting new retail businesses or offices to increase downtown traffic.The Woodland association’s search for new blood is common for business and civic organizations that prosper only when good, hard-working people are willing to give the precious commodity of their personal time. In Woodland’s case, Golik says prospective volunteers are discouraged by the amount of time it takes to get things done in the community — the association worked for eight years on securing new public restrooms for downtown, he says.But the association’s troubles go much deeper: the downtown business owners who are the direct beneficiaries of local improvements have sat on the sidelines, Golik says, while others have devoted their time to such civic improvements as downtown flower baskets, streetscape upgrades, Hoffman Plaza improvements, and the “Hot Summer Nights” concert series.last_img

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