Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street? Instead, Let's Reoccupy Main Street

Occupy Wall Street.  We are the 99%.  #OWS.  The phrases seem to be everywhere.

In fact, the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon reached the streets of Kansas City (right in front of the Federal Reserve Bank) last week.  The Occupy Wall Street movement is spreading throughout the nation--We Are the 99%-encrusted pins, handwritten signs, shouting protestors and all. 

But we're not here to ask you to occupy Wall Street.  We're asking you to do something much different.

We are asking you to Reoccupy Main Street.  Now that's something that we want to fight for.

It wasn't too long ago that Kansas City's Main Street was buzzing with energy; the progressive era brought life and vibrancy to the city with the implementation of the Country Club Plaza, Ward Parkway, numerous downtown taverns and even TWA.  In fact, in the 1940's Kansas City was becoming known as the Crossroads of the World.  Take a look at the picture below for proof.

Main Street, Kansas City, 1936.
But what if the buzz came back?  We think that now is our chance. We are ready to Reoccupy Main Street and bring in a plethora of entrepreneurs, startups, small business owners and even large corporations to live, work and play in the thriving and eclectic Kansas City community.  Big things are happening once again; Google Fiber is making its way to KC, new developments are being executed by the Kauffman Foundation and Think Big Partners, startup companies like Zaarly and LiveOn are igniting and the city is being nationally recognized by media superstars like The Wall Street Journal and entrepreneurial publications like Entrepreneurs Unpluggd and Under 30 CEO.

There's no doubt about it; entrepreneurship is booming in Kansas City.  It will only be a short matter of time that Main Street is reoccupied with new (and flourishing) small businesses, driven and hard-working entrepreneurs, and disruptive technology startups. But we're going to do much more than just wait for that to happen--we're going to make it happen.

Downtown Kansas City.
We encourage you to Reoccupy Main Street.  What does this mean exactly?  Bring your new and innovative ideas to Kansas City.  Provide support to those who are looking to create and innovate.  Work side-by-side with your competition to see how you can better the Kansas City community together (a little thing we like to call co-opetition).  Partner up.  Dive in.  Create some buzz.  We are making a difference in Kansas City just by energizing the city streets with those dreams, ideas and big thoughts that cause us to toss and turn at night  We aren't the 99%.  We are the 100% of Kansas City residents who want to see the city grow, succeed and prosper.  Maybe it all starts with an idea and an opportunity, and we think now is our chance. 

Written by Allison Way

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