If you ask 10 different people how they feel about Walmart as a company or community partner, chances are you’ll get 10 different answers. Walmart represents a dichotomy of a large retailer offering lower prices vs. a large retailer putting small businesses at risk.
Chances are also unlikely you’ve heard of some of the research Walmart produces.
The inaugural Bentonville Conference on American Life sponsored by Walmart, created an interactive map of the U.S. distinguishing eight different county archetypes: Urban Centers and Core Suburbs; Urban Periphery; Smaller Independent Counties; Americana; Distressed Americana; Rural Service Hubs; Great Escapes; and Resource-Rich Regions. The map offers an archetype for every county in the U.S.
Each archetype has specific action items attached offering ways to maintain and attract new businesses and industries, as well as preparing a local workforce to better meet future demands of local economies.
The Spokane County archetype is a “Smaller Independent Economies”. According to the report, we should focus on:
- Enhancing white-collar skills demanded of the 21st Century economy;
- Invest in “Quality of Life” measures to attract and retain ‘new economy workers’;
- Leverage existing knowledge working skill base to attract new employers;
- Promote entrepreneurship by easing regulations on launching a business.