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McCray opens ideas for small town growth


August 9, 2018 | View PDF

Becky McCray points to a potential spot for artwork above the Palouse River Quilts store.

Becky McCray, founder and publisher of Small Biz Survival, points out possibilities and ideas for downtown Colfax businesses Friday during an interactive walk sponsored by Colfax Downtown Association and Innovia Foundation.

Approximately 40 people from Colfax, Benton City, Pullman and Rosalia attended the walk with McCray up and down three city blocks. Before leaving, McCray met with attendees at The Center and spoke to them about seeing through visitor goggles. She also presented the Four Ts: Tiny, Temporary, Together and Traveling as keys for helping grow businesses in small towns.

During the walk, she pointed out empty windows and encouraged putting any and everything in those windows, whether it be business possibilities, displays for other businesses or home-based businesses or even a child's action figure display so the window was not empty.

She talked at several locations about sub-dividing buildings into smaller office spaces, which fit several of the T: tiny space, bringing multiple people together sharing overhead and temporary space while individuals grow their business. When asked about recruiting businesses, McCray refuted it in favor of growing businesses already here.

McCray talks to a crowd of business and civic leaders about putting any and everything in windows to encourage business and ideas. McCray's visit was put on by the Colfax Downtown Association and Innovia Foundation.

"You have 2,000 some people here," she said, then asked the crowd how many had side businesses. She said business growth is about making opportunities for locals to "grow their own" instead of recruiting from out of the area.

Multiple times per block, McCray pointed out areas and opportunities for art work, including mural and sculptures. She urged art as a way to get people to stop and notice things, but also to spark ideas and conversation.

Referring back to her four Ts, she was also a proponent of temporary art works; putting murals on parachute cloth or banners that could be changed out easily. She applauded the Colfax crack art for taking a flaw and making it into a piece of art.

After the tour, McCray and the group returned to The Center for a luncheon and discussion on ideas, issues and opportunities.

"You have an amazing amount of stuff for 2,700," she said of the services and products in the city.

The Courtyard

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