The most common thing rural people ask us about remote workers is how to attract them.
To find out what will make your town attractive, let’s look at what attracts people to your town right now.
Every town has some people moving in every year, and we don’t notice them. We are far more aware of the graduates leaving town, because they hold a ceremony for them every year. There’s no ceremony for new residents, and they don’t all move in at the same time.
One example: Montana
In 2020, Montana Extension asked community leaders in some of the most remote and challenged rural communities to see if they could find and talk to a new resident in their community.
They all found new residents, no matter how small their town. More than a quarter of these new residents brought their own job as a remote worker or an entrepreneur. That’s pretty amazing considering that these weren’t popular tourist towns or high-amenity outdoor resort areas.
What attracts people now?
Those new residents said they were drawn to their new community by factors you’ll recognize.
They want to raise their kids like they were raised, to be closer to nature, to have a slower pace of life and a lower cost of living.
What do new residents love about small towns?
Being part of a small community and friendly people were the top things they loved about their new towns.
What about your town?
Your town has things that make it attractive to new people. It includes belonging to a community and having the freedom to experiment with your own business. Get together with some other people in your area and compare your lists of what you like about your town.
Find out more
Find more practical steps you can take in our video Remote Work Ready: Zoom Towns. Everything you’ll learn is do-able, affordable and scaled for small towns.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.