Can a town survive losing their school? 

One of your fellow readers, Trace Frahm, has a serious question.

“Great articles and keep them coming! We are in a small town whose government school mob has decided we don’t meet their minimums and is leaving town in the summer of 2016. The prevailing premise is that once a small town loses its public school the town drys up. I don’t believe that at all and in fact our city council does not either. Do you have any podcasts or articles about rebuilding and reinvesting in small towns without a local school? It’s OK if you tell me that I am crazy but I believe we have a future, it’s just going to be different than the past. And seeds that our city council planted 2-3 years ago are starting to sprout but it took awhile to get going. Thanks!”

A town can survive anything. Towns have lost factories, mills, mines, businesses, schools, and grocery stores. Towns have been physically damaged by fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Towns have lost their location when dams changed the face of the land and when railroads or interstates changed the course of commerce. Towns have even lost their people. 

You name it, there is a town out there that has survived it. 

It won’t be easy. The people who lived through each crisis could tell you just how hard it was. It was probably harder than they ever expected. For every town that has survived, there are two that didn’t. 

What makes the difference of towns that survive and towns that struggle? You do. You shape the future of your town. 

Treat the loss of the school as past, even though it is coming up. It happened. OK. Now what can we build with what we have? 

You can’t ever go back, but you can start here, and shape the future town you want.

What specifically should you do to shape your town? Grow more businesses. 

  1. The best thing you can do for your town is start your own successful small business.
  2. The second best thing you can do is help someone else to start or expand their business.
  3. The third best thing you can do is help tear down the barriers to entry that keep more people from starting their own businesses in your town. 

If your town has lost a school, or you have a good story of a town that lost a school but survived, hit reply and tell me about it. 

Link of the Week
10 Ideas to make your Grand Opening more than just a sale. Of course you can use them for any special event, not just a grand opening.

Conversation of the Week
How do you get businesses to join the chamber of commerce or business association? 
One of your fellow readers serves on his local business association board. He asked for ways to get businesses to join. That kicked off a great conversation, and you can join in here

Keep making your town better,
Becky 

Get a weekly dose of positivity for small communities from Becky McCray and Deb Brown, co-founders of SaveYour.Town. We share practical steps you can put into action right away.
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