Talk about the good things
First things first, take a moment to appreciate what already makes your town special. Is it the picturesque scenery, the tight-knit community, or the awesome local businesses? Make a list of all the things you love about your town and share it with your friends. Get them involved too! Post it on social media and watch the positive vibes spread like wildfire.
Make a List
For example, in my hometown of Geneva, Iowa, (population around 150, yeah, it’s small but mighty), we’ve got historical sites like the Old Stone House and Maynes Grove where you can camp, fish and hang out with friends. Plus, you can take a stroll around the entire town for some exercise. And let’s not forget the dedicated volunteers at our local fire department. They keep everyone safe and sound.
Don’t keep it all to yourself
Now, take that list and share it with the world! Share it on social media, through a letter to the editor, or even as a catchy poster. Spread the love for your town and focus on the positives. Trust me, we all need a little pick-me-up from the negativity.
I asked on social media what the locals liked about Geneva and received many answers. Strong youth baseball (go Dodgers!), and a twice a year event with many vendors selling wares were two answers shared.
A local said, “I’d say the families that stick around even after they’re grown, how all the kids play together no matter what their age gaps are, how everyone looks out for everyone’s kids, walking the whole town on trick or treating night and having so many people with their lights on. Not really physical landmarks but it’s a lot of things that I love about my small town!”
But why stop there? Let’s think about how we can make our town even more awesome. Talk to your neighbors, invite them over for coffee or a chat at your place, and brainstorm some small steps you can take together. Maybe bring back that old festival like Bean Day in Geneva. Dust off those parade floats and let the good times roll!
Just get started
Remember, the key is to just get started. Talk to each other, take those small steps, and create a relaxed environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas. Before you know it, your town will be bursting with awesomeness!
Engage Your New Folks
Now, onto the next step: engaging new residents. These newcomers bring fresh perspectives, skills, and connections to our town. By embracing them and organizing events specifically for them, we can learn from their experiences and make our town even better.
Host a welcoming event
In Red Lodge, Montana, they host a Newcomers Welcome Event. It’s all about creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for the newbies to connect with each other and explore the community. They get to learn about the area and feel welcomed right from the start. Bennettsville, South Carolina has a similar approach, where realtors personally invite newcomers to gatherings. It’s all about making them feel included and part of the community from day one.
By engaging with new residents and tapping into their perspectives, you’ll gather valuable insights about what drew them to your town and use that to strengthen your community. Plus, these newcomers often bring their jobs with them, boosting our local economy.
Improving your town’s attractiveness is all about recognizing its existing strengths, engaging with newcomers, and taking small but mighty steps towards progress.
Embrace the good things, build a strong sense of community, and welcome those fresh faces with open arms. Before you know it, your town will be a shining beacon that attracts residents who can’t resist its charm and opportunities.
The top photo is one of my favorite small towns (island actually.) Antiparos, Greece population 1200.