Every business, non-profit organization, or local government is only as good as the community around them. By community I am not referring to its people (although yes, that is important); instead, I mean community in the context of a product, or in other words the amenities and activities offered in that area. As a general rule, to be successful, rural towns must focus on the community first, and the people will then come. This proved to be the case in a survey of the 400 most successful towns across the country. The survey also found that the majority of these towns relied on simple strategic plans that addressed four major areas:
Rural Community, Strategy, vision
“Why did you want to move back?” It’s the question I’m asked most often since returning to Crawford County this past summer. In one sense, I understand the nature of people’s curiosity. The area’s population has been in decline for over 60 years, the per-capita income is $10K below the state average, and 38% of residents collect social security benefits. Combined, these realities contribute to a more alarming fact that over half of the area population cannot be relied on to provide tax revenues necessary to sustain services and infrastructure. I’d hate to characterize the situation as bleak, but as one official remarked, his job was to ensure a slowly sinking ship, sank slower.
Community Engagement, Ideas, Rural Community, Trends, vision