A reader wrote to me about an influx of low-income people into his town, using subsidized housing and other community services. He said a town council member had talked about them as “a drain on resources” and “dead weight.”
I got angry when I read that. But it took me awhile to figure out the real reason.
My reply to the reader was just this:
What if the families with low income are actually your best asset, your potential entrepreneurs, and within a generation will be your business leaders?
And now we get to the real reason I got angry. Because this is my family’s story. My great-grandmother was a teacher who relied on subsidized housing, staying with families in the school district until the community banded together to build a tar paper shack for her to live in with her daughter. On the other side of the family, my grandfather moved his family through a series of run-down, borrowed farmhouses as he tried to recover financially from the great depression and serving in the second world war and the hard times immediately after.
Both of these people worked their way up to being self-sufficient and more, and their children became business and civic leaders in their communities.
Yes, times have changed, and people are different. That doesn’t change my original question:
What if the families with low income are actually your best asset, your potential entrepreneurs, and within a generation will be your business leaders? How would you treat them then?
You help them start that journey today with the Innovative Rural Business Models
- Zoom Towns: attracting and supporting remote workers in rural small towns - December 10, 2020
- In an economic crisis, spend your brainpower before your dollars - November 25, 2020
- Video: How to fill empty car dealership buildings for the holidays - November 6, 2020
- How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here - October 20, 2020
- The Idea Friendly Method to surviving a business crisis - October 6, 2020
- Join me for the Rural Renewal Symposium online Oct 13 - September 26, 2020
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020
- Economic self defense for small towns - June 7, 2020