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   Earn Your 1-5 Star “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY” National Designation?


Q:        What is the 1-5 Star “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY” National Designation?

A:         A National designation indicating your local community has taken actionable steps to create a Truly-Local mindset.  Earning the

             prestigious “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY” national designation indicates your community is committed to the elements required    

             to be a more business friendly environment where innovation, teamwork, action and progress are evident.


Q:        What are the Foundation and elements of a “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY”?

A:        Community Foundation & Teamwork - Working together critical to the plan, reaching great heights requires teamwork.

            Community Education - A systematic & ongoing community-wide education plan is critical. Our plan builds this quickly.

            Community Action - No worthwhile goal comes without action, oftentimes this is simply herding the cats in the same direction.

            Community Business - Long-term success come by building ingrained community pride and teamwork, we instill this from day one.


Q:        How difficult is the process and how long does it take to earn this National Designation?

A:        The process isn’t difficult for a community understanding the critical nature of establishing a truly local mindset. A community can

            earn their 1-star designation in a matter of a few weeks. Becoming a 5-star “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY” takes a more

            aggressive approach, but this can be accomplished in about a year.

Q:        How do we earn the various stars leading to a 5-Star "TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY"?

A:         Points are earned for each item completed to include the Foundation and each Pillar.   Aggressive communities can realistically

             earn additional stars every few months. See the tasks and point value below.

Q:         There are many tasks and initiatives included under each category, are we locked into those only?

A:          Absolutely not! Excepting the items noted under Foundation, many items on the list you are already doing in some shape or

              fashion. You may have initiatives that can be substituted in lieu of some of ours.  It is all about incorporating a synergistic

              approach allowing each individual element to work effectively building synergies alongside other community initiatives. The goal

              is your community building a Truly-Local mindset leading to a 5-Star "TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY" national designation.

Q:        What is the overall driving objective with the program?

A:         This entire program is about communicating, working together as a community and building synergies ultimately driving

             revenue back into the local community.  Local communities must solidify their own financial base allowing them to maintain their

             infrastructure in lieu of some hometown of a Wall Street corporation.  When communities have everyone working in the same

             direction, no bar is too high. Many communities having wonderful initiatives in place, however their programs appear fragmented

             and uncoordinated. Our goal, take the fragmentation and turn it into a strength, then couple it with a community process that

             magnifies their overall efforts as well as their results in a rapid time frame.

Q:        What is the cost to participate?

A:         Thanks to National partners underwriting some of the back-end cost, we are able to provide this opportunity for any sized

             community.  When done virtually, based on community size, for communities under 10,000 the cost is only $1000/yr. and

             $99.00/mo. For communities under 20,000, the cost is only $2000/yr. and $199/mo. All others are $3000/yr. and $299/mo.

             This community-wide initiative including even the low cost should include several organizations. We encourage the City, Chamber,

             Main Street, Economic Development, Rotary, American Legion and more to be engaged. With everyone sharing, it is only a few

             hundred dollars for each organization making the cost affordable for any community! Many hands make light work.

             Most choose to have us come into their community a few times for a couple days each time to assist in getting the program off the

             ground.  We are committed to making this affordable for any community. To keep it affordable, a 2-day trip into the community

             has a cost of only $3000. This cost covers our expenses and travel days.  We HIGHLY encourage not one organization cover

             this cost, the more organizations invested in the process, the greater the results.  Regardless of how you proceed, here are just a

             few elements you can expect to be included:

             1)  Series of Onboard Training Sessions         5)  Virtual Guidance on EVERY program element

             2)  Monthly update & training webinars         6)  Yearly Market Survey Measuring Results, Progress & Community Temperature

             3)  Continued One-on-One guidance              7)  Community receives the “Building Main Street, not Wall Street” column

             4)  All rights to utilize logo, programs etc.      8)  Inclusion in our "TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY" twice a year National magazine

Q:        When do we start?

A:         We will begin a new on-boarding or implementation program at the first of each month. Initially, to allow for maximum assistance

             for each community, we limit new communities into the program to five each month in 2021.

Q:        Who should lead this local effort?

A:         Typically, it makes sense to have city leaders endorsing the program.  Once the city endorses the effort, we find that the local

             Media Company, Chamber, Main Street or Economic Development organizations seem to make the most sense to be our initial

             point of contact. Once the initiative gets off the ground, the task force will drive the bus.  It is important the task force leader be

             savvy, excited and have an innovative and/or entrepreneurial spirit.

Q:         We are ready to go, what are a few quick talking points or one-liners to get potential community members on board?

A:          - A community-wide initiative that brings us all together in a common cause and direction.

              - Earning our first National community designation that values and promotes our commitment to being local.

              - An initiative that not only creates, but drives local revenue back into our community and local businesses.

              - Builds an effective communication vehicle that better binds, educates and informs the entire community.

              - A must for the locally-owned businesses as it not only drives traffic, but provides tools to help them better compete.

              - A great way to honor our veterans and school kids while building a sense of community pride along the way.

              - Place our community on the map as it will appear in the National "TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY" magazine.

Q:        Who do we contact to obtain additional information and get started?

A:         Contact: John Newby at: 815-326-9061 or email him at:

                   Ask us about being a "TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY" Charter Member
                                                            The Designation Process

                  Community Foundational Teamwork, Community Education, Community Action & Business Growth

Community Foundation:               To achieve maximum results reaching their potential, communities must mold teamwork into their
                                                                          mindset and DNA.
Community Education:                          To increase the odds of success, the entire community must be educated as to the importance of
                                                                          having a Truly-Local mindset. This will be done through a constant, consistent and unwavering campaign.
Community Action:                         Once the education strategies are established, it is time to begin our action items. This is where the rubber
                                                                          meets the road so to speak.
Business Growth:                                 Sustainable business growth becomes a byproduct of teamwork, education and action. Sustainable business
                                                                          growth is the ultimate goal of the entire program.
                     Community Foundation
20  -  City Commitment                                                               
10  -  Select Task Force Leaders                                                
10  -  Chamber / Main St. / Econ. Dev.                                    
30  -  Min. of 3 Business Leaders                                               
20  -  Min. of 2 City Leadership Members                                 
10  -  Min. of 2 Civic Clubs                                                           
10  -  Min. of 1 Veteran Group                                                     
10  -  Min. of 1 Media Company                                                  
10  -  Min. of 1 Church Group                                                      
10  -  Min. of 1 Tourism, Healthcare, 1st Responders
10  -  Min. of 1 Education Representative Member   

Possible Points
              Community Education

15  -  Task Force Establishes Youth Team
10  -  Create/Promote 1 Community Calendar
10  -  Year-Round Educational Campaign
10  -  Year-Round Social Media Campaign
50  -  Attend Yearly "Building Main Street" Conference
10  -  Complete Business Development Foundation
10  -  Create Downtown Business Association
10  -  Monthly Business Training
10  -  Roll-out CHAMPS! Program for Youth
10  -  Each Additional Church/Civic Group
20  -  High School Credit for Community Program
                           165 Possible Points

                      Community Action

20  -  Create Year-Round Marketing Campaign
10  -  City Commits to Local Spending
15  -  Adoption of VETS.ORG Program
10  -  Creation of Community Farmers Market
20  -  Creation of "THE GATHERING"
10  -  Localized Community Shopping Platform
10  -  Adoption of Octopon
20  -  With Media - Reinvent Regional Marketing
10  -  Community-wide Clean-up Day (2)
10  -  Community Project to be Determined

                          135 Possible points

                     Business Growth

10  -  Establish Retiree Mentoring Program
10  -  Create & Distribute Door/Window Signage
20  -  With Media - Create Business Showcase
20  -  Create MONTHLY Shop Local Day
10  -   Create Innovation/Entrepreneurial Center
10  -   Create New Business-Centered Event
30  -   Downtown New Business Blitz - 10-12
10  -   CentraMart - Local Amazon Like Network

                            130 Possible Points

1-Star TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY                                          220 Points Per Year
2-Star TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY                                      260 Points Per Year
3-Star TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY                                      295 Points Per Year
4-Star TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY                                      330 Points Per Year
5-Star TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY                                      410 Points Per Year

Community Foundation & Teamwork

City Commitment – Success starts with commitment to building a foundation of a “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY”.

Select Leader & Establish Task Force – You need a dedicated leader or general with number of committed community soldiers.

Chamber/Main St./Econ Dev. – They are one of the critical spokes in the wheel, full Chamber/Main Street support is vital.

Min. of 3 Business Leaders/Influencers – Business participation is critical, having 3+ business movers and shakers is critical.

Min. of 2 City Leaders – City support is huge, having them involved is vital to overall success, knowledge and success.

Min. of 2 Civic Clubs – This is a community-wide effort. Clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis and so forth are vital as well.

Min. of 1 Veterans Organization – Having your veteran community engaged is critical as they are most helpful.

Min. of 1 Local Media Company – Getting the word of the efforts out is a must, your local media must be on board.

Min. of 1 Church Group – There is no better resource for help than church groups, they get involved and bring an army of help.

Min. of Tourism, Healthcare, County & Fire/Police  – This is a community effort, the more organizations, the better the results.

Min. of 1 Education Representative Member - Our youth are critical to our future, having education at the table is essential.

Community Educational

Local Schools Represented on Board - Truly-Local DNA must be instilled at a young age. Having youth involved is a must.

Board Establishes a Youth Committee – The youth are future, this allows younger generations to be involved building your community.

Create/Promote 1 Central Community Calendar – With fragmented media, a centralized calendar is worth its weight in gold.

Year-Round Media Educational Program – Instilling Truly-Local DNA is a non-stop process; the media are critical to this element.

Year-Round Social Media Campaign – A non-stop community-wide social media “Truly-Local DNA” campaign is a must.

Attend Building Main Street Conference – This yearly event can change the course of your community and ignite the sparks needed.

Create Business Development Foundation – Creating a business development center will spur future entrepreneurs to action.

Create Downtown Business Association – A platform for business owners to work together on strategies, advertising & marketing.

Provide Monthly New/Existing Business Training – Monthly webinars covering various aspects of business is critical to growth.

Run CHAMPS Program Honoring Your Youth – How better to motivate your youth than to honor them – this works wonders.

High School Credit for Community Program - Work with the local high schools to award credit for time involved in our programs.

Community Action

Community/Media Marketing Plan – Media is an integral part of any community effort, working together will enhance all other efforts.

Written city commitment to Local Spending – City leadership must officially endorse the “TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY” initiative,

Adoption of the VETS.ORG Program – This program includes veterans as a marquee part of the overall community effort.

Creation of Local Farmers Market – Every community needs a farmers/craft market, we assist in taking it to the next level.

Creation of “The Gathering” Community Event – “The Gathering”, a unique event strategy building local pride & attracting outsiders.

Adoption of OCTOPON Local Business Platform – This is an innovative platform for your locally-owned businesses and generates $.

With Media, Create a Regional Tourism Guide – Rising water raises all the ships in a harbor, regional tourism enhances your region.

MILAN MARKETING Community Data Tool – Great tool for reaching your community while helping businesses to flourish.


Community Business

1-2 Yearly Community-wide Cleanup Days – Every community needs to instill pride and cleanliness to attract new dollars.

Additional Community, Civic/Church Groups – Adding new groups is a powerful tool in building a TRULY-LOCAL COMMUNITY.

Retiree Business/Entrepreneur Mentoring Program – Retirees are a great resource for business start-ups, let them be involved.

Various Window, Door and Community Signage – No effort is complete w/o signage everywhere, constant reminders go a long way.

With Media, Create Locally-Owned Business Showcase – Locally-owned businesses must be known. Build a platform for this mission.

Create Monthly Shop Locally-Owned Day – Shop local days need to be consistent and often. Build the habit, they will come.

Create Entrepreneurial / Innovation Center – Great communities cater to the entrepreneurial spirit, what better way to show that.

Downtown New Business Blitz, 10-12 New Businesses – With coordinated timing, open 10-12 new downtown businesses at one time.

Implement Local Shopping Network - CentraMart - Now local communities can compete in the online shopping experience.

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