Strong turnout for Bourbon Business Luncheon

Marshall County Economic Development President and CEO Jerry Chavez reported a strong turnout for the Bourbon Business Luncheon held July 26.
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Staff Writer

A tradition that began five years ago where Bourbon businesses are shown appreciation through a luncheon for conducting business in the community by local leaders continued Thursday, July 26th. The annual meeting is a testament to the value Bourbon places on private investment and contribution to the local economy. The Bourbon Business Luncheon gives local business owners the chance to connect with Bourbon leadership and each other.

According to Bourbon Town Council President, Les McFarland, there was a strong turnout with over 30 attendees and the majority of Bourbon’s businesses were represented. This is the fifth year that the Bourbon Business Luncheon has been held, and the town intends to continue the tradition. Local officials believe it is important for the town and business community to collaborate because when one grows, the other does as well.

Discussion included topics such as infrastructure improvements and the town’s efforts to grow the population, which are goals within Bourbon’s newly adopted Comprehensive Plan. This summer, a committee of local leaders was formed to implement the plan. Ensuring that local businesses are aware of these goals will help with smooth implementation.

Meeting attendees discussed how fast and reliable internet access is important to the community. That is why the town is working with Marshall Fiber, a collaboration between RTC and REMC that could eventually bring high-speed broadband to communities throughout Marshall County.
Additionally, the Indiana Department of Transportation is planning to potentially change U.S. Hwy 30 to a freeway in the next ten years. Bourbon is taking proactive steps by considering the impact of potential changes and participating in the U.S. 30 Coalition, an advocacy group made up of leaders from six counties. These plans to improve local infrastructure were supported by participants at the luncheon.

Bourbon leadership also shared information on the town’s new promotional video, which was created to attract residents to the area. Businesses were encouraged to include the video on their websites to support Bourbon’s marketing efforts. Growing the population through the town’s marketing campaign will benefit businesses by strengthening the local workforce and customer base.

One of the core values of Bourbon’s Comprehensive Plan is to grow the town’s economy. Ultimately, the Bourbon Business Luncheon contributes to that goal by supporting businesses and creating a consensus between the town and business community about important issues such as these.

The effects of this annual meeting can be felt even outside of Bourbon. Marshall County was recently named a finalist for Regional Stellar Designation. Programs like the Bourbon Business Luncheon demonstrate Marshall County’s collaborative spirit. According to Mr. McFarland, “This is another example of why we are ‘Stellar’ and an awesome community.”