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Where We Are Going


Very simply put, Rock Island Trades has begun a long, slow process of encouraging commerce and employment along the old Rock Island Railroad line, focusing on small businesses in small communities, starting with Bland and Belle, Missouri, and then radiating out from there.

We are performing this by first creating a working model at a central location, and then planning to repeat the process in the surrounding communities.

I, Craig Newmann, began by contacting all of my past customers, many of whom are business leaders, recruiting as many “gung ho” participants as possible.

All of the services currently listed on the Rock Island Trades homepage will begin aggressively marketing, with the intention of handing much of the everyday operations off to inspired independent managers.

We need self-managing individuals across multiple disciplines to move each endeavor forward.

(If you know such individuals, have them contact us.)

We will meet with local Chambers of Commerce and try to work hand in hand with them.

I am ready to begin a speaking tour across the area, to share whatever knowledge that I can impart.

The Rock Island Trades website will quickly be converted to a low-cost advertising medium for start-up small businesses, posting ads and business cards for these businesses.

There will be many obstacles to overcome. This job and this website will likely never be “complete.”

So bear with us as we gain steam in Mid-MO!

Please sign up for email updates on our contact page.

The more subscribers, the more effective we will be in increasing commerce and employment.

Also, if you are a business leader, a local official, or you operate a small business, or want to start one, I encourage you to contact us.



An open letter from Craig, owner of Rock Island Trades, LLC:

"To All my family, friends, clients, associates,

In order to explain where we are going, I must openly reflect on where I've been.

I've worked from the most primitive surroundings in North America as a white water guide in Idaho to the most high-tech offices in tall buildings as art director of major magazines.

I've worked for the amazingly rich to the most destitute.

I've cleaned toilets, built fence, shod horses, fixed computers, troubleshot entire digital print graphics departments for multi-million dollar companies.

Here’s what I've concluded. Most of our jobs hang on a string. And we all need each other.

Yes, I do believe in the power of “one.” Because sometimes that's all you’ve got.

But, none of us live in a vacuum. We can help each other.

A coordinator like me can put people to work for the overall benefit of the community and for each individual who participates.

As I drive down these country roads, first I see the incalculable beauty of rural Missouri. But I also see work, the way a pioneer sees work. I see jobs that need to be done, people who need work done, and people who need to have work.

I see raw resources and human resources falling through the cracks, not being being utilized.

On top of that, I've researched 10-year economic projections for this area, and they project a financially bleak future.

I ask myself, “what can I do”?

What I do best is start small businesses. Coordinate, manage, multitask. I crochet economic tapestries.

I just turned 60. I have nothing but time to make more good things happen for my family and our communities.

So, I'm coming out of hiding.

I've been relatively invisible building fences, shoeing horses, mowing grass, cutting wood, fixing computers, playing a bit of music at campfires, etc.

I have vast marketing skills stemming from earlier years which I have laid aside for 25 years.

Its time to incorporate all i know from high-tech to low-tech to no-tech, for the betterment of all.

This job and this website will never be done.

Big job for one.

But its time.

Thanks for reading.

Craig Newmann"

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