Our Nation is in the midst of two major events that will forever change the way we live and work. And both provide an opportunity for rural resurgence that hasn’t existed for decades.
Covid-19 has touched every person in the US. But, as the map below shows, it has touched urban areas to a degree that is much greater than rural areas. Much smaller population density and an abundance of wide-open spaces have facilitated a Covid transmission rate in rural areas that is dwarfed by its urban counterparts.
In addition to the Covid pandemic, that may or may not have reached its peak, the recent civil unrest that has spread across this country has turned violent and destructive in urban areas, while remaining peaceful and adhering to the true spirit of the cause in the breadbasket of the United States.
I’ve lived most of my life in the rural Midwest, first while I was growing up and then again as an adult, when I returned to raise my children in my own version of utopia. I returned for ‘A Job’ and when that job disappeared, there wasn’t another like it. Unlike the urban areas of the U.S., good paying, professional opportunities are few and far between in rural areas. My income has suffered, greatly, but I remained to see my children raised, in a place that I would argue is unlike any other (Even though conventional wisdom and common sense tell me that it’s not unlike any other, to me and my children, it is. Me, and my children, will most likely eventually move on. But there is no location on the map that will ever occupy the space in my heart that is reserved for our hometown).
What Covid has taught us is that working from home is not just a novelty, or an opportunity reserved for a select few. Many, hundreds of thousands…millions, can be productive working remotely. Retail has been showing us for the past decade that bricks and mortar are becoming more and more irrelevant. Covid has shown us that the majority of office space can easily be replaced by the home office. Zoom has made it simple and cost effective to see your co-worker’s ugly mugs if necessary.
On the heels of Covid, urban areas have been dealt a second dagger, in the form of civil unrest.
Social justice, police reform and maybe, possibly, eventually…Equality for ALL in this great country are causes that I always have and always will support. This isn’t just a ‘good idea’ or something we should rally around. This is absolutely necessary if we have any hope of finally fulfilling the vision of our founders and restoring the United States as a beacon of hope to oppressed people around the globe.
There are good people; working, marching, chanting; everyday for this cause. I will support them in any way I can. But there are also anarchists, undermining their efforts. Creating divide. Forcing people to take a side where no side should exist. These anarchists have laid waste to urban centers and done nothing, other than convince rational people that they no longer want to live and work there.
These two events, combined, have created the perfect storm for rural resurgence.
Nearly every small town in the middle of the country has a dying downtown. Beautiful, historic buildings begging to be saved.
Imagine small towns, in the middle of America, with renovated downtown buildings, being filled with young professionals with high salaries. The ripple effect in those communities will be enormous.
Imagine communities that have been trying for decades to stop the brain drain finally having an answer.
The ball is already rolling in several communities and Growth Services Group can help you make it happen in yours.
It’s a win-win-win-win scenario.