Yes, the Racine County Economic Development Corporation wants you to tell it about your shopping habits: "If you have some ideas about improving downtown Union Grove, downtown Waterford, Douglas Avenue in the Village of Caledonia or West Racine, your opportunity to share them has arrived," Kristin Niemiec, RCEDC's community development manager writes.
"For the next two weeks" -- not even; only until May 15 actually -- "the Racine County Economic Development Corporation will be conducting an online survey to learn more about how and where county residents shop -- and about how they would like to improve these specific commercial districts in the county. The survey is part of a study to identify strategies to strengthen the county's commercial districts and develop new, complementary businesses."
"Everyone is invited to complete the survey for the area in which you live and/or shop," the press release adds. So quick, go online at the following websites and take the survey.
"$150,000 and over," anyone?); where do you shop for a list of products like clothing, hardware, antiques, gifts, fine dining and video rentals; how do you rate your commercial district's cleanliness, merchant helpfulness, safety, sidewalks, shopping hours and the like; and three open-ended questions seeking what you like best and least about your shopping district, and what kinds of new businesses you'd like. (No mention of a Sixth Street liquor store... wrong geographic area, no doubt.)
Only one retail chain is mentioned on all of the various surveys: Wal-Mart/Sam's Club. We're not sure what that means.
The survey is being conducted by the CLUE Group, of Arlington, VA, whose website says that stands for Community Land Use and Economics, and defines itself as "a specialized consulting firm that helps communities create vibrant, dynamic downtowns and neighborhoods. We help local and state governments, developers and nonprofits design innovative downtown economic development strategies, cultivate independent businesses, recycle historic buildings, attract young talent, strengthen downtown management programs, and craft planning and land use tools that mitigate sprawl and stimulate town center development."
Each page of its website is headed by an enigmatic quote. Like:
"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see."Actually, there are two quotes by Churchill, and two promoting sidewalks. But nothing else about Wal-Mart. Or about Racine's Sam's Club, which you do know is moving to Pleasant Prairie, right?-- Winston Churchill"Any town that doesn't have sidewalks doesn't love its children."-- Margaret Mead
In any case, let's end this with a famous quote by Cynthia Nelms: "If men liked shopping, they'd call it research." Anyone up for a trip to Sam's Club? (After you fill out your survey, of course!)