In an earlier blog, the issue of the benefits of using green construction was discussed. The broader issue asks the question of how does a town make itself more appealing to both businesses and people, creating an environment where both will want to start or relocate their business. After all is said and done, the appeal will be created by the people currently living in the community. Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons why this is true.
What type of businesses is the town trying to attract? High tech businesses require people who have high tech skills, and if the supply of workers is not adequate for the demands of a new or relocating business, it will not move there. Yes, financial incentives from the local government can encourage a move, but any business has to be able to justify its costs for starting or moving its business for the long term. Therefore, it must consider the long term prospects of available labor and expansion of its business within the area.
If the town prefers not to attract high tech businesses, then the skills available must match with the required skills of the new businesses. There are a number of reasons a town wants to restrict population growth, but that will come at a bottom line cost in dollars and income to the local residents. For example, residents may be willing to drive an hour to a more populated a d congested area to work and take home the higher wages offered. But when it comes to radically changing the lifestyle of the town to add a new business there is considerable resistance. This is another reason the current residents play a critical role.
Area crime rates are a significant factor. A new business will also include new residents, and businesses do not want to invest in a potentially unsafe environment. Crime is a factor that is directly controlled by the residents of the town. This is a statement not often agreed upon, but regardless of the reasons for a high crime rate a business will be unlikely to move there. As an example, Missouri has largely avoided awarding casino licenses for the purposes of increasing revenues to towns. While there are benefits, the money made is largely confined to a few businesses and the state government. What accompanies the casino business is an attraction of people from all over the state and country who are not personally invested in the town the casino is located. Crime rates often rise because the actual customers are not concerned with the reputation of the community.
Finally, one of the biggest problems with appearance is the town failing to recognize it is much like preparing for a first date. You look your best and are on your best behavior. A business that visits a town where the streets are dirty, people are seen standing around on the street during working hours, and a lack of traffic flow are detrimental to the appearance of the town. Many towns wait for desperate times to come before seeking new businesses, with the result that their appearance suffers. So do not wait to begin making your town appealing but always seek to attract new businesses.