Annual Business Nexus at the Depot

[OCT. 14, 2000]  Main Street Lincoln hosted the Business Nexus Friday evening at the Restaurant at the Depot, with a host of exhibitors and vendors present to help guide and generate ideas for starting new businesses. This event was sponsored by the city of Lincoln, State Bank of Lincoln, Logan County Bank, Illini Bank and Union Planters Bank.


[Roy Logan, Wendy Bell and Marsha Greenslate]

Among the vendors present were Becker and Wibben Computer Services, Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce, Logan County Economic Development Council, Lincoln Park District, Main Street Lincoln, the Bloomington Pantagraph and Lincoln Printers.


[Terry Locke, Sharon Awe and Bobbie Abbott]

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[Karen Hargis and Cynthia Klink]

Jay Matson was the keynote speaker. After his presentation, from 6 to 7 p.m., he was available for comments and questions.

It was reported that attendance was light for this event, but it was reported that there was quite a bit of interest from among the attendees.



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Main Street Lincoln plans
annual Business Nexus

[OCT. 7, 2000]  Main Street Lincoln will host the annual Business Nexus on Friday, Oct. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Restaurant at the Depot in downtown Lincoln. The program is being sponsored by Logan County Bank, State Bank of Lincoln, Union Planters Bank, Illini Bank and the city of Lincoln. This year's Business Nexus, themed "Developing Your Dream," will not only open the door for potential owners but also challenge business leaders to pursue additional successes. Anyone interested in community growth, opening a new business or expanding a current operation should plan to attend this informative and free event.

The first hour of the evening will give those attending a chance to visit tables manned by financial, government, business assistance and retail service agencies and socialize with their peers. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided and a cash bar will be available.

Keynote speaker Jay Matson will begin his presentation at 6 p.m. A question-and-answer period will follow. Matson brings more than 20 years of restructuring experience to share. He was instrumental in the National Trust's "Main Street" pilot program after Galesburg was selected as one of three demonstration sites in the country.


Like many Midwestern communities in the mid-’70s, downtown Galesburg witnessed the demise of its historic retail center when a new regional shopping center opened on the edge of town. Mass merchandisers and fast food restaurants followed. Soon what was left appeared to be a never-ending rash of business closings and empty, neglected storefronts.

Against this background, it was a radical and high-risk notion when Jay and his wife, Mary, purchased a block of decaying buildings on a dilapidated side street. Their revitalization plan called for opening restaurants, promoting the area’s railroad and heritage tourism, and serving as an incubator for independent specialty businesses. At the time, many considered it to be a crackpot scheme.


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Today, the resulting Seminary Street Historic Commercial District is the city's largest tourism attraction and one of the major destinations in western Illinois. The Packinghouse Dining Company, located in the former meat processing plant, has received national exposure from articles in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Chicago Tribune. The three-block area thrives, with restaurants, a bakery, winery, pub, coffee roastery, antique mall and over 20 specialty shops, as well as the Galesburg Railroad Museum. The restoration and revitalization of Seminary Street has been synonymous with innovation, originality and entrepreneurship. Its award-winning merchants organization has been acknowledged for its cost-effective marketing and promotional strategies.


As a consultant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Illinois Main Street Program, Jay has shared his knowledge with numerous cities and downtown organizations. He brings practical, hands-on experience which will address a range of business topics and issues, including business recruitment and retention, tourism development, community events, promotions and marketing.

For additional information on the "Developing Your Dream" Business Nexus, call the Main Street Lincoln office at 732-2929.

[Main Street Lincoln news release]

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