I was in Mt. Ayr, Iowa and had the opportunity to meet with a group of people who had moved back to this small town of 2,500. They brought with them technology, a large network of professional friends and their families. It’s not a beach town, there’s no mountains and people don’t go there to vacation.
Why had they moved there?
- because they wanted to be close to family,
- to raise their kids in a safer environment and
- because they wanted to make a difference.
That’s right, they moved back home. This is big for rural areas that lose youth to outmigration: Almost 3 Million Adults Moved Back Home in Wake of Coronavirus. There are 32 million adults living with their parents or grandparents as of last April, the highest number on record.
This group of adults found each other, using technology and their networks. Some work remotely, some have built new businesses, some are creating a business with each other. They are all working together to make Mt. Ayr as best as it can be.
Bennettsville, SC hosts a Newcomers Gathering every quarter. The newcomers are personally invited by the realtors that sold or rented them their homes/apartments. It’s in the evening, there is food, and it’s designed to be fun! They ask questions about where to take garbage, is there a dog park, where do I pay my utility bill. It’s also a perfect time for you to share about your businesses, empty buildings, and need for volunteers. Listen to the ideas they have as well.
Who are the new people in your town? Are you ready for the remote workers to come home?