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Monroe 816 Featured at International Main Street Conference


Val Katzer Foltz, owner of Monroe 816 in Garnett, Kansas, was featured as a model of best business marketing practices at Main Street America’s Main Street Now 2021 conference. She was part of a presentation by Destination Business expert Jon Schallert, “The Post-Covid Comeback: The New Requirements to Build a Destination Downtown.”

The virtual conference on April 12-14 had thousands of viewers from around the world, including small business owners, community leaders, and economic development and revitalization professionals. Sessions focused on Recovery and Resilience, Equity and Inclusion, and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Val was among a small group of 12 business owners Schallert featured in his presentation whose approach was highlighted for practical, affordable, immediately implementable steps that can be employed by any business.


“My goal was to highlight the most innovative business owners from North America who have experienced the pandemic and successfully emerged from it. I wanted to show owners how best to position themselves so they can succeed in the new normal of 2021 where every business can thrive,” Schallert said. “Monroe 816 is already ahead of the game with what they’ve done this last year under extremely difficult conditions.”

“The pandemic has been challenging to every business, but we embraced some changes early on by introducing window shopping, curbside pickup, and moving our inventory to our online space to meet the needs of our customers. We also initiated a candle give-a-way for medical professionals, as well as inspiring coffee talks with free DIY tips and product showcasing. Val said. “It’s an honor that our business was featured in this worldwide conference because other business owners can benefit from what we learned and I’m thrilled to know that my experience might help a fellow business owner who is struggling right now.”

The business owners that Schallert featured learned his 14-step Destination Business Strategy at his Destination BootCamp course. Schallert’s process was learned after interviewing over 10,000 independent business owners over the course of three decades.

“I learned the importance of proactive adaptability from Jon several years ago,” Val said. “That concept has made a huge difference to keep me successful during the difficult past year.”

“Many things about running a small business have been profoundly changed by COVID-19, but for independent businesses, being the first choice with a consumer remains the same,” Schallert said. “My goal is to make sure owners in every community have the best tools possible to flourish in 2021 as we come out of this pandemic.”