You know the saying 'time flies when you're having fun'? I suppose the same could be said for working on visionary projects, which is what we have been busy doing for the past three plus years regarding broadband options in Grinnell. In many ways, it seems like just yesterday that we began working with the City to convene focus group meetings to better understand and determine next steps for downtown (it was actually Fall 2016!). Throughout the meetings, a number of common themes were articulated, including having broadband/reliable internet available to businesses and residents in Grinnell. Following those meetings, the Chamber's Board of Directors charged the staff to develop a comprehensive plan to address the fiber needs of the community and incorporated it into the Chamber's strategic plan. Since that time, our office has spent much time convening meetings, learning and having discussions to lead us to possible solutions.
Nearly one year ago, we used this newsletter to help launch a short survey to better articulate the need and desire for broadband in Grinnell. As a result of those survey responses, earlier this week Mahaska Communications Group (MCG) announced they are coming to Grinnell in 2020! They will begin developing a fiber installation plan and expanding their network to the Grinnell community beginning later this year. While they do not have their exact starting locations and timelines identified just yet, they are committed to running fiber to the entire Grinnell community and will offer a suite of services. Their entire build will likely take about two years; however, customers will be able to 'go live' in networks as soon as they're built. And rest assured, as soon as MCG has identified their zones and build dates, we'll be sure to share it with you, but for now you can find more details on their website.
(MCG team presented to the Grinnell City Counsel and community members on January 14th)
While it has been a long process, it's certainly a rewarding one, especially knowing that just a few months ago our community had very little fiber but following this announcement, and coupled with other area providers' efforts, will soon be a very connected community. We're excited to help share this news with you, knowing broadband and connectivity is something that many of our businesses and residents have been so passionate about for the past few years.
It's hard for me to believe another year has come and gone, but I am excited for the coming year. Have you set your resolutions for 2020? If you, too, are just getting started with your planning for the coming year and are contemplating making a career change or taking the plunge into business ownership, make plans to connect. Our 'Job Opportunities' page of our website is continually updated with new opportunities from our members.
If a new business venture is up your alley, we invite you to connect with our office as one of your stops. We work with all types of businesses that are looking to start and grow in Grinnell, and aim to be a resource to businesses no matter where they are in the process. From brainstorms over coffee to giving feedback on business plans and connecting with community resources, we work with several prospective business ventures each year, especially around this time of year.
If you're thinking of starting a business, now is a great time to get serious about it. Whether you're ready to launch now, or just want to explore the possibilities, please get in touch with our office to see how we can assist you. It doesn't matter if you're about to open, or if you're not even sure if your idea would work here. Let us help you get started.