Web site working to help community

Thanks to Students in Free Enterprise, students and residents of Indianola now have a Web site they can visit that contains information about the city, www.indianolatownsquare.com. The Web site includes a business directory, the latest news, pictures and a list of upcoming events.

SIFE is active in monitoring what is going on in Indianola and wanted to help the city advance in any way that it could and that is how the Web site idea came about. There was a business directory sent out by the Indianola Chamber of Commerce, but that list was not complete. The Web site contains a list of every store on the Square, not just the ones that belong to the Chamber of Commerce.

Senior Cassie Norman thinks the Web site will be very beneficial to the people of Indianola, including students at Simpson College.

“It’s information all in one spot,” Norman said.

The businesses on the Square will also have the opportunity to create their own Web page and therefore do some advertising. For $70 a year, a Web site can be created for a business and then for an additional $50 a year the business can have access to the website to update specials or deals.

“I think it’s a great resource,” Norman said. “Businesses on the Square benefit and students can stay here to get what they need.”

Senior Mary Beth Hanna is hoping the site will help further the community.

“This is a way for businesses to reach the community in a way they might not have had the resources to do before,” Hanna said.

The site was created by Nolasoft, but the maintenance of the site is all in the hands of SIFE members. Members are responsible for uploading pictures, putting a complete list of businesses up and updating everything weekly. Every other week, members of SIFE visit a different business and make it the featured business on the square.

Tom Schmidt, assistant professor of management and chair of business administration and economics, thinks the Web site will help students realize they do not have to travel as far as Des Moines to get things they need.

“Students don’t know and don’t care to find out about businesses in town,” Schmidt said. “There is a ton of stuff within walking distance.”

The goal of the Web site is to make it the go-to source for people seeking information on Indianola. The city wants it to be the first site that pops up when people are searching for Indianola online. The site is also there to answer any questions people may have about the city.

“We’re hoping to create more awareness,” Schmidt said.

The site was officially announced to residents of Indianola and students on campus on March 18. The hope is that this is only the beginning and the Web site will help foster awareness on Indianola and all it has to offer.