Hello, I’m Robert Thompson and I’d like to welcome you to WelcomeToMolalla.com! (That, my friends, is a lot of welcoming!)
I’d like to take a little of your time and explain what Welcome To Molalla (WTM) is.
Some of the details have evolved as we’ve evolved, but the ideas behind Welcome to Molalla remain the same as when we started: first (and both points are of equal importance), as a place for local businesses to network and support each other, and second, as the face that Molalla and Molalla’s businesses present to the public.
Who is this ‘public’?
This ‘public’ includes what you probably automatically think of: people from elsewhere – neighboring towns, folks driving through on their way somewhere else, and, naturally, those for whom Molalla was the destination. The important question with the folks who just drove through is, “Why did they drive through – why weren’t we the ‘somewhere else’ they were heading to?” As for those for whom Molalla was the destination, the question is, “What made them come here? What was special about our city that drew them here?”
The second and less obvious answer to ‘who is this public’ that we’re trying to appeal to is… Us! We, as the local residents and businesses of town, need to have confidence in, trust in, and interaction with, each other. How we view ourselves has a big influence on how we portray ourselves to others. Much like individuals: it’s a lot easier to get others to believe in you if you believe in yourself first.
Because of this last – that it is easier to get others to believe if you believe – I think that working on ways for our city to improve our self-image is an important starting point. In practical terms, this means acting locally – whether it’s shopping, recreation, eating out, getting acquainted with the local history, or taking advantage of some of the amazing “great outdoors” that we have nearby. Or perhaps it’s creating something new of your own – have you had an idea that you think would be great – perhaps a volunteer organization of some sort? Well, start it! And use the resources you find on WTM to help you. Let Welcome to Molalla help you start your own local contribution and activity, whatever form that takes.
“A rising tide lifts all boats” is an appropriate aphorism here. We serve the best interests of everyone as we (as individuals and businesses), take positive steps forward. And as we continue to build up our internal self-image, more folks from elsewhere will see a growing, vibrant and increasingly appealing place to visit.
Individuals are key to this process, but the easiest and most basic jumpstart for creating activity and positive movement in our city is local businesses doing what all successful businesses must do: self promote. In other words, it is to the benefit of the community when businesses take the small (and expected) step of letting the world know they exist. Networking with the local community and local businesses is an intrinsic part of any successful business – getting the word out and letting others know what you do, and how well you do it. This allows a business to not only fulfill a need – the trading of its goods or services for money – to a customer (business or individual) but to also serve as a resource (“Yes, I have the perfect person for you to call…”), thus strengthening the relationship between customer and business while ‘keeping it local’. And self-promotion breeds activity. It gets people talking.
Molalla has a long-standing tradition of self-sufficiency. By acting and thinking locally, we want to perpetuate that tradition – using our own community as our first resource and then reaching further from there. This is not being isolationist but rather allowing a healthy community to build itself while improving its ability to project its strength to the outside world.
Welcome to Molalla is the Hub.
It is a place for local businesses to start talking with other local businesses and with the community at large – to self-promote. It is a great spot for individuals to begin networking with local businesses – they need you and you need them!
It is also a place for individuals and businesses to find answers to so many questions. (What is happening in town? What businesses are local that I can use? (I promise there are many you haven’t dreamed of). What resources are available if I want to start a business? Or get a city permit? How can I, as a business, begin to meet other businesses and network locally?)
And, finally, it is the place where we can present a best face of Molalla to the outside world, encouraging and enticing people to stop and see what we’re all about. When they leave, they’re already planning and anticipating the next visit.