Editor’s Note: “The Economic Development Side” originally appears in the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce’s weekly member e-newsletter. It is written by Rhonda Dishner, the Economic Development Alliance’s executive assistant.


Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home.


(I want to believe that’s an awesome original thought. But I can’t imagine it’s never been said in the more than 100 years since a children’s novel sent Dorothy to Oz and then home to Kansas. Now back to my article.)


Just ask anyone who’s been stranded in a foreign country due to striking airline workers where they’d rather be. Or the woman lost in a maze of dark streets in an unfamiliar city. Or the man desperately driving a new car the few blocks to his garage as a catastrophic hailstorm pounds the roof and windows. They all just want to get home.


It’s also good to reach home after long hours at work, or big-time “retail therapy,” or traveling extensively, or while battling a migraine, or after being hospitalized. This list could go on. But if you are anything like me, you just truly enjoy being at that place of permanent residence called home.


It’s a given that our house is our home, but our hometown — Pine Bluff — is also our home. A lot of us like a spotless — or pretty near spotless — dwelling place. We also like to tidy up before we leave each morning for the job or for vacation or a trip because it’s nice to return to neat and clean.


Have you figured out where I’m “going” this week? Well, yes, this is really about cleaning up our hometown, which is an extension of our individual, personal living spaces. It’s spring again; time to help clean up the carelessly discarded garbage that defaces our city. And that includes the roadside rubbish and the plastic shopping bags that have been “blowing in the wind.” (I know those words have been used before.)


Whether by participating in an organized cleanup or beautification event or picking up trash in one’s own neighborhood, residents of Pine Bluff can provide valuable economic development assistance. Tending to this litter is economic development and it’s important because a clean city makes a positive statement.


So, a clean city is the goal. Visitors will notice. Industrial and business prospects will notice. We’ll all notice when our hometown rids itself of unsightly trash and illegal dumping sites. On a positive note, it appears the community is beginning to make some headway. Now to convert the litterbugs!