REDI Report – August 8, 2015

“Busy-ness” is booming in local area

I hope everyone has enjoyed what has been a busy week in our community and county. If you say “there’s nothing to do here,” you really haven’t looked too hard. All week, thousands from multiple states have enjoyed great entertainment as part of the 47th Annual Brumley Gospel Sing at our very own Cowan Civic Center. We have a big Our Town, Your Town event Saturday at the I-44 Speedway and a lot of local things going on in area churches, etc. This is a busy, busy place to be – and that’s a good thing.

With that said, I want to look at some other assets in our community that we may take for granted from time to time. And they both strongly contribute to our local economic development efforts.

First is our Route 66 Museum. I was blessed to get a recent tour of the museum and was blown away by what it had to offer. While I have often personally said I won’t grow older very gracefully, I have enjoyed the appreciation that age brings for things that I might not have held with such affection at a younger age. History is one such thing that I am much fonder of now than I was 10 or 15 years ago. The Route 66 Museum brings in thousands of visitors to our community each year and after my tour I can certainly see why.

I was very impressed with the organization and exhibits of the museum. Without going into much detail to steal from other’s potential enjoyment, I will just say please go to this facility if you haven’t done so lately or ever! I think you will be pleased with what you find.

The great news when it comes to a tourist attraction like a museum is the additional economic benefit we get from visitors coming to town. They shop in our stores, fuel up their vehicles at local gas stations, eat at our restaurants and I could go on-and-on about the benefits this brings. The dollars generated here allow our local businesses to do better, hire more people, contribute to more charitable causes and again the list goes on-and-on.

Another asset is the men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis in our local law enforcement. It was great to see two new Lebanon Police officers take their “oath of office” at the last city council meeting. You really don’t appreciate what they do for our community until you need them at a critical time. Every community has its challenges when it comes to crime. And when employers take a look at an area, they will see where a community stands when it comes to issues such as crime rates. We can certainly showcase that Lebanon is a better option than many larger metropolitan areas that deal with violent crime on an almost daily basis. We should be very appreciative of our local law enforcement agencies at all levels – city and county.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and be sure to enjoy one of the many fun things that Lebanon and Laclede County have to offer.

(Brian Thompson is the President/Chief Executive Officer of Lebanon-REDI. He may be reached at his office at 200 E. Commercial Street at 417-533-5627, by mobile phone at 417-288-9737 or by e-mail at

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