As I have been reminded a few times by my significant other, Valentine’s Day is this Friday. Known as the holiday of love, I am not sure that we need to only be thinking about romantic pursuits this week. Seeing as we frequently talk about how much we “love” our customers, our staff, our suppliers, etc. perhaps we should refocus, for the sake of business, on gratitude.

In reality, showing gratitude to those who are important to your businesses’ success should be a year-round endeavor. Nevertheless, in this season of Cupid, perhaps being a bit more demonstrative in your gratitude is not a bad idea. Sometimes, doing something unexpected, helps make your message stand out. For example, this year, the Greater Freeport Partnership delivered thank you baskets to our Partnership Level members. These are organizations who give above and beyond their normal membership to support the work at the Greater Freeport Partnership. Because we wanted to make sure our message was received and to help us standout, we delivered these members New Year’s baskets filled with some local goodies. Our message was “We’re looking forward to another great year working with you!”

I am confident however you decide to show it, your customers, staff, vendors and all others important to your company, will appreciate it when you show them the love!


The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association has announced a new contest “Maker’s Madness: The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois.” They will be compiling a list of fantastic products made in Illinois. We would like to make sure that many of the fantastic things made in Stephenson County are included on the list. If you have a product to nominate, the process is simple. Nominations can be made at If you would prefer, you can forward your ideas to us at and we will file the nomination for you. Nominations will close on February 23.