GUEST APPEARANCE: Because a little insect became Ka-choo – how one idea leads to another | Geneva

You’ve probably read the classic Dr. Seuss book where one little thing happens and sets off a big chain reaction.

I was at a friend’s house one night recently where another friend said he hated Clifton Springs. I was floored. Listen, this little village isn’t perfect, but what’s there to hate?

He said he considered Phelps a more fun/vibrant community because it had a wine bar, distillery, local market, and live music. (And a historic hotel that will soon be restored, I might add.)

But listen – it happened because only one small business owner took a chance on a community (Ka-choo!). And then another small business owner did too (Ka-choo!). And then another (Ah… you get the idea).

That’s how the scales tip. This is how a community becomes cool and becomes a place where people want to spend their time (and their money).

Someone was willing to take a risk.

I look to the city of Geneva as an example of business owners working to tip the balance one by one in another part of the Finger Lakes. Belhurst, Ravines, Billsboro, Ardennes, Big Alice…

We all have the opportunity to stand up for the things we believe in to help our communities thrive.

I’m not the little bug that started this chain reaction, but I hope to be a bug in your ear today, dear reader. Members of Geneva’s city council vote on May 10 on an update to the city’s agricultural commercial zoning.

The zoning update would allow for agritourism initiatives such as concerts and events at businesses in the city. You can learn more about voting and sign a petition to pass the update at www.genèveagritourisme.com.

We all have an obligation to move our community forward into the future we want to see. I know that if I do not speak, I will regret not sharing my point of view on this important question. I encourage anyone who agrees with me to do the same, but even if you disagree, it’s important to make your voice heard.

Maureen Ballatori is the founder and CEO of 29 Design Studio, a creative agency for food, beverage and agricultural brands. It also owns Port 100 Cowork and Metro Collective.