The key to the city of Andover's multigenerational success will be improving its commerce. In our last blog ("Boosting Commerce in Andover with Google Reviews"), we discussed the importance of investing in Andover's local commercial landscape. Another crucial component to the long-term investment in Andover's economy is attracting young entrepreneurs. An aging business community will ultimately lack longevity without the renewal from young professionals.
It's cliché, but it is true that young people are the future, and a city without a future will not remain prosperous for long. Many cities like Andover have experienced brain drain over the past several decades. In fact, Kansas Senator Ethan Corson highlighted brain drain as a state-wide issue in 2021. As a city, we can blame our brain drain problem on the issues at the state level, but we can still take autonomy over our
To start attracting young professionals, it is important for all businesses in Andover to invest in our chamber of commerce---not just our money, but also our quality time and effort. By being active in the Andover Area Chamber of Commerce, the older generation of business leaders have the opportunity to mentor and lead the next generation of entrepreneurs. Cities with active chambers of commerce (including a strong social media presence) flourish and set themselves up for decades of success as they attract new families to the area. For example, the City of Derby has wisely invested in its commercial infrastructure, and they are continuously reaping the benefits of having active chamber members and staff.
Andover has gained fame for its award-winning school system, but Andover is more than just its schools. As a city, to gain more young entrepreneurs, we need to diversify our strengths. Andover needs to become a small business hub, which will naturally make us stand out from neighboring cities. If we could entice more young entrepreneurs to create and execute their businesses in this city, Andover would have a wide variety of unique services and products to offer both the citizens of Andover and the greater Wichita area. Business diversity is the key to a community's economic ecosystem's health and longevity.
In addition to the above long-term benefits of fostering young entrepreneurs in Andover, attracting the next generation of professionals will instantly boost the existing businesses in the area. As the world increasingly marches further into digitalization, successful businesses (even small ones) must have an online presence. Attracting more young professionals to Andover will organically improve its digital presence, because Millennials and Generation Z are on the cutting edge of marketing platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, etc. These groups naturally bring online attention to their preferred businesses and communities as a whole. By attracting the younger generations of consumers, Andover and its businesses will always remain up-to-date in the digital marketplace.
It is imperative that Andover continuously focuses on improving its commerce, and one of the most valuable investments it could make is in its future business leadership. Young entrepreneurs will revitalize Andover's real world economy and its digital presence. Actions we can all take now can be as simple as inviting more junior members of our business teams to Andover Area Chamber of Commerce events, so they can begin taking ownership in our local economy. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please comment below!