Square Premieres Story of Webster City, Iowa [VIDEO]
On March 31, 2011, the last set of washers and dryers rolled off the line at the Electrolux plant in Webster City, Iowa. Following the national recession of 2009, the plant shut down, causing the county’s unemployment to skyrocket to 10 percent by 2011.
While Webster City could have become another poster child for American manufacturing’s flight abroad (a sort of Detroit-in-Iowa) it diversified its economy, pumped new life into its historic downtown, and emphasized the development of locally owned businesses. Webster City saved itself.
A new pottery shop and a revitalized theater on Second Street are just two examples of businesses made possible by the citizens of Webster City. Together, they banded together to promote entrepreneurship and attract new business.
Today, unemployment is down to three percent. Recently, development of 53 new home lots was completed. There was a wait list for buyers. It’s an almost inconceivable — and unusual — bounce-back in such a short amount of time.
On Thursday, June 12, Square CEO Jack Dorsey joined the town of Webster City at the Webster Theater to premiere a short film about the town’s inspiring comeback.
Watch the premiere:
Following the premiere of the film, Jack chatted with residents of Webster City about their town’s recovery, entrepreneurship, and how other towns can encourage local businesses and job creation.
“Our community will be better off with small individuals creating our own little economy as opposed to one big company that everybody has to depend on for a paycheck,” said Tim and Sherry Adams, Webster City business owners.
Webster City’s story is part of our ongoing campaign, For Every Dream, that tells the stories of business owners across America. Tell us your dream or the story of another dreamer at firstname.lastname@example.org.