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CEO Letter

A message from CEO, Tara Barney

Let’s keep Small Business front & center this holiday season

It’s November — if you haven’t already started your holiday shopping, you’d better jump to it! Before you search the web to find gifts for this season, get out and commit yourself to shopping local and enjoying the brick-and-mortar businesses that keep our region thriving. It may take a little more time and some planning, but I guarantee the local boutiques and shops in our region have gifts to please your picky best friend, wellness-obsessed coworker, and hard to please in-law. And better yet, you can feel good about buying those gifts knowing your dollars are staying local.

Start today and plan to finish your holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday — November 27 this year — it’s the ultimate opportunity to shop and dine local across the Evansville region and to participate in special shopping events happening in downtown Boonville, Newburgh, Evansville, Mt. Vernon, Princeton, New Harmony, Henderson and others. One of our guiding principles at E-REP is to put “small business front and center,” and it’s not just something we say. We’ve taken action by assembling a listing of districts who will be participating in Small Business Saturday events in our region. Visit the Resources tab on our website,, to learn more.

Speaking of the Resources tab on the E-REP website,, two additional resources created by talented members of the E-REP team are now available for employers and the Evansville region at-large – both impactful. The first is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) toolkit for employers. If you’ve followed our initiatives this year, you know we’ve placed an intentional emphasis on DEI, through a series of events where best practices on how to implement and improve DEI in the workplace was shared. The DEI toolkit is a continuation of our shared journey advancing economic inclusion and encourages businesses of all sizes to take the first steps in implementing a DEI strategy for their organization or advance an existing one. The resources are not comprehensive, but they are a good starting point.

The second: a tool that will help our region compete and win in the war for talent. A highly requested and much-needed Newcomers’ Guide to the Evansville Region informs and answers the questions newcomers face when considering a new community. Our hospitality shows and we want new residents, potential residents and our guests to experience it with us. Available digitally and printable, the guide covers living, learning, dining, arts and culture, experiences and more, all found in the Evansville Region. If you’re a regional employer, take advantage of this resource by linking the guide to the careers page on your company website.

Whatever your holiday plans may be; traveling or not; don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy and support the genuine hospitality of our local retail, dining and entertainment businesses on Small Business Saturday on November 27 – and every day.