National Title Could Boost Kewanee Economy - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

National Title Could Boost Kewanee Economy

Posted: Updated:

Kewanee residents a lot to be proud of this weekend. Their city has been named the Friendliest Small Town in the nation in a Rand McNally's Best of the Road contest.

The city says the award comes as a much needed morale booster. Just last month, the city announced that it could lose at least a hundred jobs as yet another factory planned to shut down there.

City leaders say this award could not have come at a better time.

People in Kewanee tell us the town has been hurting in recent years. They say work has been hard to come by, and they've only seen jobs leaving the city rather than being created there.

One woman we talked to even said she drives a total of 70 miles to get to and from work every day because it's the only job she's been able to come by.

But, city officials and business owners say winning the "Friendliest Small Town" title could change that. It could really help the Kewanee economy.

They say they expect tourism to increase because of the publicity.

And, as the town gains national recognition, residents say they hope to catch the attention of a potential job creator who can bring in new business.

"There are a lot of people willing to go to work, and eager to work. We'd be thrilled to death to get another business in town and keep it growing," said Dianne Packee, a local business owner.

People in town say getting the Friendliest Town award wasn't easy. They had to make a YouTube video, write and essay and get thousands of people to vote in the online contest.

They say a boost for their local economy will make all that hard work worth it.

Because Kewanee won in the Rand McNally contest, the Travel Channel will feature the city in a segment of an upcoming documentary.

Powered by WorldNow