Darien economic development forum set

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Staff | August 20, 2013

DARIEN — The village of Darien will host the first of three statewide Small Town Downtown forums that focus on the unique community and economic development issues and needs in small, often rural communities. 

The workshop will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Darien Senior Center, 47 Park St.

Participants are asked to register by Friday, Aug. 30; the fee is $10 per person. Registrations may be done online at www.wisconsindowntown.org /events

The local event organizer is Joshua Clements of the Walworth County UW-Extension office. For agenda and registration information, visit http://walworth.uwex.edu/cnred.

Officials from a variety of coordinating agencies, including USDA Rural Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and UW-Extension will be on hand to provide information and technical assistance. Roundtable discussions will focus on specific issues, including real estate, marketing and events.

Darien Administrator and Sharon President Diana Dykstra will present a local case study highlighting the Sharon Cycling Classic, which featured the Prairie State Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup race.

“The event represented a successful and ongoing community branding and place-making effort that has put Sharon on the map for cyclists, and legitimized Sharon as the friendliest cycling community,” Dykstra said in a news release.

“Those communities that are making a difference in their downtowns are those that actively seek information and ideas,” says Jim Engle, Downtown Development Programs manager for WEDC. “The Small Town forums represent an excellent opportunity for communities to get to know each other, share success stories and yes, maybe even steal an idea or two. Each time we coordinate these forums, we hear that communities go home motivated to develop something creative or complete a downtown project.”

The event is open to the public, with small businesses, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders and interested citizens encouraged to attend. 

“Southeast Wisconsin is home to many great historic, rural communities, many facing similar economic and community challenges in the modern global economy,” Clements said. “Each has strengths to build upon, including downtowns. There are tools and techniques available to advance positive change. This forum provides a great opportunity to bring people together to learn and share ideas across the region, and hopefully spur increased dialogue and collaboration.”

For more information, contact the Walworth County UW-Extension office at (262) 741-4951 or visit http://walworth.uwex.edu.


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