By Dan Irvin
Last time I mentioned seeing that Bloomington/Normal was ranked number two in the nation as a place for singles to live. Now, there’s a new analysis that shows we’re the second best place to be looking for a job, right behind San Jose. Why can’t we be number one at anything? Just kidding.
We might, now that I think about it be number one in the number of coffee shops per capita and a few years ago I’m sure that if had I heard somebody say that I’d have thought, “What now?” Coffee was something mom and dad drank with every meal, but you wouldn’t have a whole restaurant that was just coffee. How silly.
Well, in fact we’ve got all manner of coffee shops, places, worlds, spots, animals. And some of the chains have fancy names and try to convince you they have bread or sandwiches, but we really know their bread and butter is the coffee.
My daughter’s preferred drink is coffee-like, but it’s mostly just a plastic cup full of sugar.
We might also be number one in terms of the preponderance of traditional – that is, non-electronic – media.
It’s really interesting to watch the four television stations, I don’t really know how many local radio stations there are anymore, and the Pantagraph – I say it’s interesting to watch them all shake themselves out in the face of what must be the highest level of saturation for any American community our size.
And I get the impression that the cost of operations for all these businesses creates an additional pressure because any business, whether you’re in the news or not requires an online presence today.
I think they all worry about their competition more than any of us do. I think they all struggle to be first with the story out of some professional pride, but I’ve never heard any of my friends or neighbors say a word about which news outlet was first. Much more concern about whether the coverage was accurate.
Ultimately, it’s consumers that are the winners, because whether it’s coffee or news, we have a lot of choices. Good for us, good for them. I hope they all find a way to succeed.
Dan Irvin is Secretary of the Board of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Vice-President of the Bloomington Public Library Foundation Board, and a member of the Heartland Community College Foundation Board.
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