Rural revitalization 101: Some tips to get you started

How do you make sure your small town is leading the band and not missing the parade altogether?

If you love your small town, it’s time to gather a crowd and start ensuring its future is golden, says small-town advocate Becky McCray.

The Oklahoma resident has a number of tips for revitalizing small towns:

  • Attract ‘crazy people’ as in the ‘lighthearted, willing to have fun’ type of crazy.
  • Invite local officials, service clubs, and sports organizations to have coffee and share their calendar of events. Hold networking events and business fairs.
  • Always let people know what kinds of activities are going on in their local community.
  • Have public conversations on the community and its prospects.
  • Take small steps.
  • Give awards, such as entrepreneur of the year, or even young entrepreneur of the year.
  • Post flyers about shopping local.
  • Think pop-ups or a store inside a store.
  • Do something different such as an annual antique tractor parade (which helped one Minnesota town raise its profile).
  • Reach out (like the Iowa community that invited urban bloggers to experience small-town life).

About the author


Dianne Finstad

Dianne Finstad is a Red Deer based reporter and broadcaster who specializes in agriculture and rodeo coverage. She has over thirty years of experience bringing stories to light through television, radio, and print; and has a real passion for all things farm and western.



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