Small production theatres dot the Oregon coast and regularly entertainment to local communities. They may be the traditional stage presentations, or modern dinner theatre mysteries, comedy shows, and musical productions.
Costs are minimal and profits are often funneled back into the theater organization. How else do they support the economy?
They capture some traded-sector dollars, in that not all attendees are residents. Grandma and Grandpa would not dare miss their grandchild’s performance and may travel from other communities or states here to the coast. While here, they will, most likely, stay overnight, grab a meal or two, may procure flowers for their budding actor, and purchase a gift or two. They might even capture pictures or video on their digital phone, or purchase a DVD of the performance, or heck, see the performance a second time. Before heading home, they might get a bit of gas and a few groceries
Get a cast of 43 young actors from the south coast (Reedsport to Brookings), and the impacts for one performance may have benefitted our region as a whole for nearly a year. 
The actors might also contribute to the economy through personal expenditures, as in the case of this month’s ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’ playing at the Sprague theater in Bandon. Some of the actor took voice and dance lessons to help master their performances. And there may have been other expenditures with sets, costumes, marketing, programs, tickets, and marketing. And who knows, some may go on to successful entertainment careers! 
These theaters may be small, but their long-term economic contributions contribute to our region and help us stay healthy and entertained! Looking at more of a national view, even these small theaters contribute billions to our economy. Support your local theatre!
 Western World, Coffee Break ‘Mary Poppins Jr.’ coming to Sprague Theater Oct. 14, 2019.
 Theater Communications Group, “Good theater is good for the economy to the tune of 1.9 billion” (www.denverpost.com/2011/11/17/good-theater-is-good-for-the-economy-to-tune-of-1-9-billion/)
 Image from Pinterest.
Could the sunny southern Oregon coast become the new destination wedding spot? Why not?
Weddings are big business for most any area and the monies flow well to local businesses that can contribute to the event. The even better news is that they are repetitive.
A festival may only happen once a year. Weddings can occur repetitively, bringing in monies throughout the year in a number of venues, both large and small. Is it worth billing our communities as wedding destinations? We have a lot to offer and getting a piece of that wedding business could make a huge impact to our south coast economy.
So let’s think about this. Weddings are considered to be a traded-sector because monies from any number of other communities, states, and countries could come here, and many companies could be involved in providing products and services. Traded-sector activities generally circulate monies in our communities a lot. The opportunities for involving a large number of local product and service providers makes this a great choice.
Could we outcompete other venues? Potentially. Some of the in-city venues have waiting lists of two years and costs that might surprise you. For instance, consider the beautiful Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland. The use fees for 50 guests start at $4,722 (this is only the space cost with some access to a garden planner; other costs such as chair rentals are extra). The waiting list is often two years out as they have limited venues (predominantly outside) in the garden.
Could weddings shore up our tourism ‘shoulder months’ when the number of visitors and incoming dollars drop? According to Wedding Wire 2019 report 40 percent of weddings occur in the fall months with October 2, 15, and 19 scoring in the top five most popular wedding dates. Our weather is often stunningly beautiful, with cool days in October.
So what might one do to attract this business sector? Consider a community-level plan or larger--because no one location at this point could provide access to all of the services typically needed. The nice thing in this example, is that a community-level effort ensures that more people will potentially benefit and the risks might be minimized.
Example: Let’s say that your Chamber of Commerce likes the idea and is willing to support it. Perhaps their website could be expanded to include a few extra pages that would include a list and description of venues in your area.
Venues do not need to be large, as not all weddings are large. Venues can include churches, gardens, parks, community centers, and other meeting areas. Some of these sites could be indoors, and others out, small and large. Sites that work well include places that have a dressing area or restrooms. Having access to a kitchen is definitely a step-up but not necessarily required. A beautiful, peaceful setting or view can go a long way especially if you include pictures and descriptions on the website.
Services may be a challenge, but can be developed over time. Your community does not need to have all of these services. Look for nearby sources in local communities and consider what kinds of services that could be created in the future. Some products are easily created or procured online, such as the various cards.
Just to give you a feel for the potential services and their economic impact, Barnstable County with a population of 213,444 in 2017 had 1,532 weddings (that population is similar what our population might be for Curry, Coos, western Lane, and western Douglas counties combined might total). They kept track of several, but potentially not all, wedding expenditures that year as shown in the table below.
Other potential expenditures could include pre-site visits, more meals, rooms, gas, gifts, etc. There could also be other activities for the wedding party such as special beach gathering photo shoots, campfires on the beach, trolley rides, last minute tailoring (there is a tailor in Bandon), as well as other before and after family activities. Suggestions could be made for all of these ideas, great and small, on your wedding website.
Why a website? Because that is where many people, young and older, are looking for ideas and comparing costs and opportunities. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive to add-on pages to an existing site like your Chamber might have.
The average wedding ceremony is now costing $28,000-32,000 each... A thousand or so weddings could strengthen our economy tremendously and might even attract some new families to our area. Weddings are not be instant economic fix and won't start up at the same level as Barnstable county was in 2017. They are however not going away and would blend wonderfully with our beautiful environment and mild weather. I Do!
1 The Wedding Spot.com, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (https://www.wedding-spot.com/venue/5032/Crystal-Springs-Rhododendron-Garden/)
2 Marriage and Money: The wedding industry is big business for our region (https://capeplymouthbusiness.com/marriage-and-money-the-wedding-industry-is-big-business-for-our-region/)
If you love coaching or writing, or are an expert or motivator, public speaking could be on your job horizon. Like many other careers, it takes time to develop your skills, business, and supporting revenue streams—and like many other careers this job can offer great rewards! 
Skills may include developing materials which may be based on your interests, expertise, or even humor. Many authors will promote their books at public speaking events. The possibilities are endless for topics and for honing your skills at nonpaid events. 
Sam Baugh, Executive Director for South Coast Development Council steps in as a last minute speaker for the Port Orford Rotary Club #359 meeting. Shown here checking schedules with Rotary Club President Ulli Lau (on the right).
Public speaking can lead to a well-paid career, particularly for keynote or conference speakers, instructors, and storytellers. Some keynote speakers bring in $5,000 per gig, with some politicians or celebrities bringing in significantly more. Tony Robbins, a world-famous motivational speaker received a cool million for a day in 2018! Folks like Mr. Robbins are successful not only because they are engaging, dynamic speakers, but because they have developed their craft into successful businesses. [1,3]
Want a successful public speaking business? Develop a business plan, polish your skills, and think about potential supportive revenue streams which could include: 
--Your brand – what makes you unique, special, and marketable?
--Merchandising opportunities such as books, CDs, clothing, tools, etc.
--Marketing opportunities and ways to develop followers, which may include potential events and customers, information sharing platforms, etc.
--Revenue options beyond just speaking, such as working as a brand advocate/spokesperson, consultant/personal coach, etc. or by developing products such as book, training course, webinar, etc. [1,4]
5 Ways To Make Money As A Speaker(https://medium.com/swlh/5-ways-to-make-money-as-a-speaker-d21d6dba4675)
10 Ways to Become a Paid Speaker(https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248821)
 How Much Does it Cost to Get Tony Robins to Speak, https://blog.100am.co/how-much-does-it-cost-to-get-tony-robbins-to-speak/
 Make Motivational Speaking Your Career
Hundreds of flower shows and festivals occur every year across the country. Labor day weekend you could find one such show in Gold Beach, Oregon featuring dahlias.
Garden tourism in the U.S. attracts more visitors than Disneyland and DisneyWorld combined, and more than Las Vegas in any given year. People will often combine garden tourism activities with Flower Shows.
The economic impact of flower shows are typically not measured, unless is it is a major show. Larger shows, like the Philadelphia Flower Show, generates an annual regional impact around $65 million with its 250,000 visitors each year. Proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower Show are funneled into thousands of community revitalization projects.
While our flower shows are significantly smaller, they may be, or have the capability to, generate some direct economic benefits, while avoiding horrific traffic snarls of the big show. Profits from some of these shows may also be poured back into the local economies often covering club educational expenses.
Putting on a flower show is not for the faint of heart!
The actual number of flower shows appear to be unknown. If you have ever been involved in a garden club of any type, you know that there are many shows, with several clubs sponsoring more than one every year.
These shows would be put on by a garden (public and private – like Hindsdale Garden near Reedsport), general garden clubs (such as the Sunset Garden Club of Port Orford), plant specific clubs (Siuslaw American Rhododendron Society), parks or arboretums, botanical gardens or educational groups, or other organizations (County and State fairs), and commercial entities (Home and Garden shows), etc. They can be private (for training purposes) or public (open to the public).
The actual economic impact would, of course, vary from show to show; and area to area. But many of the potential expenses and incomes would be similar. For instance, if we look at the Gold Beach Dahlia Show one might find similar potential expenses and incomes:
--Starts (tubers for Dahlias, seed, soil amendments, labor to plant, weed, water, tools
--Display containers, flowers, tools/mechanics for creating the displays, and accessories (a nice display container, for instance, often costs a couple of hundred)
--Basic design and plant education and training materials, membership, training fees
--Travel to participate in the shows or training, or purchase products and supplies
--Lodging, food, consumables
--Judges training, travel, printed materials, speakers, staff support, demonstration materials
--Education, speakers, certification for judges
--Regular club meetings, presenters, marketing, newsletters
--Display containers, entry tickets, classification guides, show schedules, marketing
--Location, tables/furniture, special tables (like awards) or lights
--Scheduling and other support (bookkeeping, tax preparation, etc.)
--Food, gas, gifts, etc.
--Lodging and travel costs
--Sale of products at show (like plants, flowers, tools) and services (perhaps consulting)
--Taxes, permits (could be income to city, county, state)
Want more? See “Garden Tourism” by Richard Benfield
Shows can offer creative options, such as garden tourism. These activities can play into the economic numbers with people going to flower shows and adding on extra garden side trips. This could include tours before, during, and after a show that cater to spouses not interested in plants, plant-centric quirky tours, and totally independent excursions (like shopping).
The floral industry is considered to be a ‘Traded Sector’ because many of the flowers and accessories are brought in from and shipped to other countries. For instance, nearly 80 percent of our fresh flowers come from Columbia and only one percent of roses purchased in the U.S. were actually grown here. Some of these flowers are used for shows, often in the artistic design competitions where the designer is not required to grow their own blooms. The floral industry is also amazingly recession-proof with only a minor blip during the recent recession.
Putting on a flower show is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of work, educational, yet a lot of fun, and helps one learn how to be creative. Who knew it was also good for the local economy? Amazing! Support your local flower show!
1 Garden tourism benefits the economy and much more (https://buffalonews.com/2013/03/22/garden-tourism-benefits-the-economy-and-much-more/)
2 A groovy turnout: Crowds jam opening day of Philadelphia Flower Show (https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-flower-show-convention-center-tourism-20190302.html)
3 Wikipedia: Philadelphia Flower Show (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Flower_Show)
4 The Economics of Flowers: A Mother’s Day Must? (https://smartasset.com/insights/the-economics-of-flowers)
On Wednesday this week Florence will celebrate their community’s newest mural. It is the most ambitious project to date there. Marino-Heidel Studios has “done an outstanding job of depicting iconic Florence images; Siuslaw River Bridge, local wildlife, flora, and a rendition of Native Americans.”  Marino-Heidel Studios is based in Portland, Oregon.
The celebration will be held at Central Lincoln PUD building at the corner of Hwy 126 and Quincy Street at 11 am on Wednesday August 7th. The mural is truly a collaborative effort with several groups helping to support and guide the project such as the City of Florence, the Florence Urban Renewal Agency, Central Lincoln PUD, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, and the Oregon Community Foundation. 
Murals are being developed by many cities as a way to tell their story, start the conversations of what is possible, and engage communities in collaborative projects. Some cities have designated areas specifically for the development of public art.
These often large examples of public art have been used as a method for restoring communities, making interesting and walkable areas, and transforming neighborhoods and transform spaces. Public art has taken downtrodden communities and made them into hot spots often improving the value and desirability of real estate. [2,3]
“While the end products—the works of public art—are always beautiful, their deeper value lies in the conversations we create, the connections we build, and the legacy of relationships we foster along the way, often with transformative results,” said Executive Director/Founder Jane Golden of Mural Arts Philadelphia, PA. Mural Arts has created over 4,000 public art works through innovative collaborations. 
If you are interested in learning more about Oregon’s murals, and there are several in our communities, check out the Oregon Mural Trail at https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/events/visual-performing-arts-events/oregon-mural-trail/ and start exploring. Almost every town along the coast has a mural or two to look at and you can find out more from the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (https://visittheoregoncoast.com/).
1 – E-Blast, Florence Chamber of Commerce, Friday, August 2
2 - The Power of Public Art: How Murals Beautify Cities and Build Communities (https://opticosdesign.com/blog/the-power-of-public-art-murals/)
3 - Street art could add thousands to your property value, research reveals (https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/property/news/a2317/street-art-increase-property-value/)
4 Mural Arts website, About Jane Golden (https://www.muralarts.org/about/about-jane-golden/)
Storing our personal junk has created a BIG business...the self-storage industry!
The downsizing housing trend, rising housing costs, and moving has created a challenge for where to store all of our personal junk. SpareFoot, is a U.S. company that tracks the self-storage industry, reports that there are more than 50,000 self-storage facilities that incorporate roughly 2.311 billion square feet in the U.S. 
And there are still areas that are dramatically underserved. New York City with over 900 local facilities and an average of 3.5 square feet per resident, is considered to be “most underserved market” in the U.S. The national average is 7.2 square feet per person with one in 11 of us are paying nearly $100 every month! 
Self-storage facilities have been around for a long time. The Bekins brothers are credited with the concept back in 1891 who had established a concrete and steel warehouse network by 1906. The storage industry has seen steady growth and resilience growing 7.7 percent annually since 2012 creating a $38 billion industry in the U.S. 
Even though the industry is predominantly ‘mom-and-pop’ shops SpareFoot indicates that 144,000 are employed in it. Growth in the industry is still occurring along with changes in zoning laws that restrict where they can be located. Some abandoned shopping malls are being eyed for reconstruction to storage facilities. 
Some of the newest trends include: Valet storage where items are picked up at your home and stored in a remote secure warehouse. These services can be competitively priced because the warehouses are located away from the higher cost residential areas. There are even phone apps related to storage which might tie in with both the valet services and automation. 
1 Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry (https://www.curbed.com/2018/3/27/17168088/cheap-storage-warehouse-self-storage-real-estate
2 Three Trends that will reshape Self-Storage in 2018 (https://www.insideselfstorage.com/market-conditions/3-trends-will-reshape-self-storage-2018)
The pet industry is booming, or should we say, has almost always boomed and continues to do so quite well? And why not? More than half of the households in the US have pets of some kind which amounts to over 300 million pets just in the US alone. Revenue has had steady growth for more than 20 years! 1
This long-term trend bodes well for small businesses in this industry. Sure, there is the medical side of the house, but there is much more like food and toys! A 2018 study reported that dog owners spend $1,285 and cat owners spent $915 a year or more on each pet. 2
Millennials, many of which consider their pets to be ‘fur babies,’ have a very close attachment to their pets. Sometimes, spending more on money on their pets than their own health care. And seven out of 10 would gladly take time off from work to care for a sick pet if their employer offered that perk. But the boomers are spending as well with pet expenditures peaking between age 55 and 64. 2
Could the pet industry be your next small business adventure?
Where are the opportunities for small businesses? Knowing that this industry has a strong growth trend makes it ideal for new business start-ups and businesses that help support this industry. This could include creating new products (such as toys, doggie tv, fitness trackers, clothing, etc.), providing services (such as daycare, grooming, training, photography, etc.). It could involve buying into a franchise, career training, or inventing things. The demands for veterinary technicians, assistants, and doctors, along with specialty needs such as grooming and the development of specifically trained service animals make this a wide open industry to explore!
1 Pet Care Industry Analysis 2018 - Cost & Trends (https://bit.ly/2uj8Zl8)
2 National Pet Month: Here’s how much Millennials spend on their pets (https://bit.ly/2ROjMzf)
June 30 is National Social Media Day and we would like to help you celebrate! Social media has matured over the last 12-15 years becoming a way of life for many, creating jobs for some, and new businesses for others.
Something big is going on and some of us aren’t getting it...YET. Facebook has 1.65 billion active monthly users—that has got to say something.1 What other thing offers something for billions of customers, everyday?
The use of social media helps us connect people and resources. It is a phenomenon that we can’t ignore any longer. It wasn’t too long ago that I heard someone espouse argument with a person who didn’t think it was possible to establish relationships online. Then people started marrying folks they met and got to know online.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many different kinds of social media sites beyond Facebook. Some are specific to a particular region or country or language. Others may be dedicated to a particular hobby or interest, or group of people (such as retirees or engineers). Some like Facebook, simply provide a free service that helps connects us.2
The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.
Facebook is only the tip of the iceberg. In late December 2018, an article describing over 60 social media sites was published. 2 This list was in no way completely inclusive of all social media site addresses, capability, or function and several additions were suggested after it was published. For some, this list made it clear that social media is here to stay, and that people have found creative and helpful things to do with this tool.
Social media has stepped up to be one of the major ways that people connect with others (friends, family, customers, and more), do business (advertise, inform, and promote), and create revenue (sales, products, and more). It is helping to build our critical social networks that bind us together as a species. 4
Social media will continue to evolve, like any other business, to become more dependable and trusted, to include new creative options for solving problems, and as a way to connect the dots between people and resources. 4 It is only going to get bigger and evolve which gives us a choice. How do we want this technological tool managed and applied? What new mileposts can we achieve using it?
1 How Social Media has Evolved Over the Past 12 Years (https://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-strategy/how-social-media-has-evolved/)
2 60+ Social Networking Sites You Need to Know About (https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-sites/)
The Oregon Made Creative Foundation awarded more than $100,000 in 2018 to create projects and reach Oregon talent. They partner with Travel Oregon, Prosper Portland, Danner Boots, Playa Summer Lake, Northwest Film Center, NW Documentary and the Portland Film Office around the state.
This investment resulted in several job opportunities and a series of film shots here. It also created a writer’s room focused on developing a locally produced pilot and series.
This is not the first ‘film rodeo’ for Oregon. You may remember films like ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Kindergarten Cop,’ ‘Animal House,’ and seminal-animated film ‘Coraline’ which are just a few in a long list of offerings. Other series include ‘Grimm,’ ‘The Librarians,’ ‘Leverage,’ and ‘Portlandia.’ These four series accounted for more than a half billion dollars of in-state spending and affected more than 1,000 jobs annually. Just during the 2015-2017 biennium, film in Oregon accounted for more than $300M of in-state spending and more than 6,000 jobs for over 45 specific projects.
Film in Oregon accounted for more than $300M of in-state spending and more than 6,000 jobs...
This year there are many new projects (one just recently finished filming a horror flick in Bandon) such as the second season of ‘American Vandal’ and ‘The OA,’ season 3 of ‘Documentary Now,’ and much more.
Maybe one of the most exciting film growth here in the state is animation with three feature length projects here in Oregon, and others on the way. Each film can employ more than 300 jobs for around three years. If you want to know more about the film industry and opportunities from benefitting from it see the latest Oregon Film newsletter at: https://oregonconfluence.com/2019/06/03/oregon-film-who-we-are-and-what-we-do-update-2019/
This BLOG is all about using creative talents to create and support the economy in Oregon. First Blog out of the shute is how film in Oregon helps bring in money and jobs into the state. Business Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion (BRE) comes in many forms and flavors. The entertainment sector is alive and well on the South Coast!