Few would dismiss the quality of life offered in small towns, nor the strong sense of the “worth” of every resident in the community. However, the constant challenge remains: how to continue to support a broad range of goods and services, knowing economic challenges are usually magnified.
Is there a key to success in building a healthy business community? Does that key lie in creating a far-reaching economic development plan to maximize the community’s strengths – and minimize its weak spots?
In no other environment is it so vital to have the bulk of the populace included in both the planning and implementation that follows. Where are YOU in this picture? We would love to have a healthy volley of comments here – to understand both your needs and willingness to participate in the process of growing Gooding, and keeping its ‘flavor’ intact.
Business tips for small towns are cropping up everywhere!
Although somewhat dated, in a 2012 Forbes Magazine article, the evidence was clear and convincing… although there are obvious advantages to living in a thriving metropolis, the trend remains: greater growth and economic opportunities are actually found in smaller, remote locations of the country. It is easy to believe this trend continues.
An interesting phrase caught my eye as the contributor wrote in contrast of the conceit of large-city developers, “But many of the smaller areas also punch above their weight in myriad ways, spanning a host of industries.” The article cited the activities of Casper, Wyo. (54,000); and Bismarck, N.D. (61,000)—towns certainly larger than what we experience in Gooding, but hosting community members with a very similar desire to find that fine balance between thriving as a rural community, yet not giving into the less desirable elements of big city life.
The direction of many smaller communities includes growing their towns through business services, many of which are focused on tourism, adding the strength of colleges and recovering or expanding with some type of local manufacturing.
Another key point in this commentary referenced the distinct difference between what urban communities tout to boost movement to their towns, and the fact that despite the advantages they are not able to meet the job creation possible within smaller communities. If we can stand on the veracity of the statistics in this article, “Some 87 percent expressed a strong desire for greater privacy, something that generally comes with lower-density housing.” What we can also offer are strong community institutions like churches and shorter commutes… part of a list of benefits that increases.
The question remains whether the trend will continue to defy the thinking of big city planners and urban land developers. Will communication technology continue to level the playing field? Will aging boomers breach the assumption they should desire dense city life as they shift more to less dense, rural areas? Will better-educated, young families seek more affordable living? And, will companies looking to expand actually find a more attractive welcome mat from smaller communities, with a strong workforce much to their benefit?
What amazing businesses exist in Gooding that you feel punch above their weight in being progressive and thrive in a rural community?
There are distinct advantages to living in a small, rural community in the United States, and there some special smart business tips for business owners within them to strengthen the economy and build a unique quality of life – built on local assets. The world at large is experiencing economic shifts; they are different than the challenges faced by rural communities, such as rapid growth around metropolitan edges that give way to loss of valuable farm and working land, and declining population as opportunities appear also to diminish.
It is a difficult task for rural areas to keep their policies and technology congruent with the prosperity they hope to create… staying all the while at the edge of metropolitan development. Such a task calls for smart growth strategies to achieve goals for growth and development – and maintain the distinct rural “character.”
PLANNING for the type of growth where business can thrive on an inviting main street, and families can live close by.
CREATING the kind of policies necessary to protect the rural landscape and preserve the environment, and balance recreation and tourist attractions that bring revenues to the local economy.
PROVIDING support for a natural flow of walking, biking and other types of public transit that are affordable and do not disrupt the flavor of the community.
This section of the Gooding Chamber of Commerce website is intended to provide vision and possibilities for growing a thriving rural community.