Simply put, we want to make change.
Smiths Falls’ Challenge
Without a sufficient and consistent flow of tourism, the retailers and restaurants of Smiths Falls cannot thrive without professionals of the new economy who actually work in town. (e.g. These people support the restaurants and at lunch which allow them stay open at night, which brings more people and traffic in for dinner.)
Why the New Economy?
As Smiths Falls has experienced in the past, the exodus of manufacturing and traditional institutions can cause a major upset to the local economy and town as a whole.
Incentivizing other large corporations to move to town is difficult, expensive, and the competition is high. Arguably, it may still be a losing battle once big business has headquartered in Smiths Falls as the fight to keep them there can be a constant threat. There will always be a region/country that can offer a cheaper solution to manufacturing and production.
Instead of looking away from big business in the hopes that the mom-and-pop’s of Smiths Falls will survive, we (the Meraki Collective) would like to help the economy of Smiths Falls by focusing on recruiting and retaining people who work in the Innovation Horizontal within these big business sectors. People who work within the Innovation Horizontal are professionals (and aspiring professionals) who support the new economy (e.g. skilled workers in the creative, design, marketing, engineering, knowledge services) who have high value jobs that are at the core of any industry.
With a robust community who works in the Innovation Horizontal, an exodus will not disrupt an entire town’s economy as it has in the past. Skilled professionals like these rarely move with the outsource exodus and have the ability to stay where their home, friends and professional network are for a few reasons: 1) their skills transcend their industry so they can easily work elsewhere and 2) their job by nature can be performed remotely if they stay with the outsourced business.
As an added plus, a notable creative and innovative community is also a great incentive for big businesses to relocate to our town.
. . . To fuel the urban revitalization and cultural vibrancy of Smiths Falls by creating a collaborative space designed to recruit and retain talent in the creative, technical, innovative, and knowledge services. This will encourage new economy millennial professionals to live, work, play and stay in Sensational Smiths Falls.
This hub will keep money within the town, harness the assets of local institutions, encourage work/life balance, and empower the community to support the continued economic success of the area and its exceptional way of life.
This hub will be for creators, innovators, big thinkers, and movers & shakers creating new possibilities for synergies and partnerships that support Smiths Falls and surrounding communities.
The Meraki Collective will be an active, creative, and sustainable community of remote (work-from-home) professionals, consultants, freelance artists, entrepreneurs, and small businesses/start-ups, working in a shared environment for the purposes of collaboration, innovation and productivity for themselves and Smiths Falls.
Thanks to Park View Homes for putting together this great video of our town!