I’m copying this directly from Jack Schultz’s weekly email, because I think all of you need to read it, save it, and hand out copies!
By Jack Schultz, Boomtown USA
As we have known for 20 years at Agracel, small towns are a great location for manufacturers. This, after all, was one of the key reasons Boomtown USA was written, because of what we were seeing in our industrial development activities in small towns around the USA. Small towns offer some advantages that you just won’t find in a metro area. Here are a few of the more obvious reasons.
- Lower real estate costs. Almost without exception (unless it’s a tourist area), smaller cities and towns offer lower real estate costs. That’s because the land is less valuable and the development costs are lower as well.
- Lower taxes. The demand for government services is considerably less in a small town and, therefore, so are the taxes.
- Lower wage costs. Although living costs vary from region to region, they also vary within the region itself. Even if business requirements dictate your presence in a particularly expensive region of the country, you can still lower your wage costs by choosing to locate in a smaller town within the region, rather than in a big city.
- Fewer transportation costs. One of the major advantages of a large metro is that it is often located at a transportation crossroads. Most of the “micropolitans” (an urban area that includes at least one city or town with at least 10,000 – but less than 50,000 – population) are also located on or near at least one major transportation artery, often more. The main difference is a whole lot less congestion.
- Lower operating costs. Lower wages, taxes and real estate costs all translate directly into considerably less “stress” on the expense side of the ledger.
- Strong work ethic. Let’s face it. Small town values mean a day’s work for a day’s pay.
- Employer of choice. Properly handled, there’s a lot to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. Depending upon the city or town, you could easily find yourself the “employer of choice”, attracting the very best workers from the entire region.
As Bill King says, “While it’s not likely that any of these towns will offer major league sports or a local philharmonic, they can offer advantages your company might find very attractive.”
Jack Schultz is the CEO of Boomtown Institute and Agracel Inc., an industrial development firm majoring in rural America, author of Boomtown USA, and speaker. Boomtown Institute serves as an economic development mentor to communities across the United States, leading communities to realize their full potential.
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