Roses and thorns: 7-15-18




A rose to the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for its program during its annual luncheon at Lion Hills Center. In addition to the customary awards ceremony and recap of the year, this year's luncheon included a presentation by Anthony Michelic, who shared some findings from a study conducted by his market research company, Brick+Mortar. The chamber commissioned the study and Michelic's presentation revealed some promising news. According to the data, the Columbus retail market is healthy, growing and has promising potential. Beyond that good news, the real value of the study is that all of the data is available to Chamber members. No doubt, each member will find information particularly relevant to their business, helping them make informed decisions using contemporary data. We applaud the Chamber and its president, Lisa James, for providing this insightful benefit to members. 




A rose to the concerned citizens who turned out for Thursday's public meeting in Starkville concerning the possibility of a new real estate development that, if approved, would relocate more than 150 residents from the federal housing development known as Pecan Acres. Roughly two-thirds of the audience at the meeting were not Pecan Acres residents, but rather, regular citizens who turned out as advocates for those residents. Given the nature of Pecan Residents, the residents there are not people who have power or influence. Many are elderly and could easily be manipulated. Whether or not the proposed relocation to another housing facility is beneficial to them, we applaud these citizens who came, asked questions and participated in this public meeting on behalf of their neighbors. The best cities and towns are those who are mindful and responsive to the needs of their most vulnerable neighbors. By that standard, Starkville proved itself to be that kind of town Thursday evening. 




A rose to Mississippi State University for its plan to greatly reduce concession prices at its sports venues beginning this fall. The price reductions - as much as 60 percent on some products - are a part of the university's "MoorValue" marketing campaign and will certainly be welcomed by fans, especially for families for whom concessions can be a very expensive part of attending a game. It should be noted that the concession price reduction may work out well for MSU and its food service provider, Aramark. Last year, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons dropped concession prices by an average of 50 percent at its new stadium. The result: Fan spending on concessions actually increased by 16 percent. Whether that turns out to be true at MSU remains to be seen. But one thing we do know already: Reducing prices will make attending games more affordable - and therefore more enjoyable - for patrons. 




A rose to Backstage Music of Starkville, which was recognized as one of the world's Top 100 Music Stores during the June 30th convention of the music trade organization National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Nashville, Tennessee. Backstage Music, now in its 4oth year of operation, was chosen from a group of 5,000 music stores to earn the distinction, an excellent way to celebrate 40 years in the music business. Play on!



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