REDI Report – October 3, 2015

Positive week showcases the good things in the community

If I could utilize one 7-day period as the “week” to bring a visiting person or business to Lebanon and say “this is our community,” I might very well use the past week as that showcase period.
So many good and positive things have happened during the past few days that it really makes me appreciate all that Lebanon and Laclede County have to offer. Let’s take a short trip back in time and review some of the highlights.
This past Monday featured a productive Lebanon City Council meeting. One of the absolute highlights of the meeting, in my opinion, was the attendance of several young men from an area Boy Scout Troop. They were there to learn a little more about city government and its respective processes. It was great to see these young men getting a first-hand view of our city leaders in action.
Tuesday night was the annual Community Cares banquet hosted by the Lebanon Area Foundation (LAF). It was a very moving event as attendees learned a little more about LAF, what it does for the Lebanon area and how we can contribute to the cause. Donations to LAF are distributed among multiple nonprofit agencies from our local area. So when you contribute to the Community Cares effort, you truly are helping friends and neighbors. Joe Knapp was the keynote speaker at the event and he gave a truly moving presentation about how “giving” has helped him in his own life. I echo those sentiments. We are all the product of others who have given to us in many ways, not just financially.
Excitement was certainly in the air Wednesday as the Lebanon Yellowjacket Homecoming parade made its way through downtown Lebanon. How awesome it was to see our community support our kids. Plus I even heard one business owner tout the fact of the increased traffic to his store front. That’s truly economic development folks.

Thursday night gave us the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner. What a great gathering this was that brought many members of our business community together to celebrate a successful year in Lebanon and Laclede County. It was a thrill to see multiple businesses honored for their contributions to our community and county. Sometimes we get so caught up in day-to-day activities that we forget to say the simple words, “thank you.” The Chamber dinner allowed us to do so as a community and I was honored to be in attendance.

I almost forgot in this column to mention the Lebanon School District and its efforts to better itself. Many community members attended a Monday planning session to help the district develop a game plan for the next few years. It is great to see our school leaders not becoming satisfied with the status quo even when things are going in the right direction. They are dedicated to seeing us become “better.”

I think this past week and those activities that I have mentioned, which were only a few that happened during the last seven days in our area, would sell just about anybody on how wonderful Lebanon and Laclede County are.

Finally, we had some good news over the last several days with our unemployment rate for the month of August. Our unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, down 3/10 of a percent from July and also 1.7 percent better than August 2014. This was also our best August rate since 2007. Good things are happening here!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

(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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