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Businessweek Archives

Smaller Towns, Higher Quality of Life

Locating in a small town not only has business advantages, but personal benefits as well. Don’t forget these quality of life

issues when you’re choosing your destination:

Housing Advantage: There was once a couple from San Francisco that relocated to Vincennes, Ind. They bought a $90,000

Victorian Manse, put another $90,000 into fixing it up, and sold their home in California. The savings allowed them to retire

10 years earlier than they thought they would be able to!

Time: In Los Angeles the average rush hour commute crawls along at 35 mph, in San Bernardino it’s only 42 mph. Hours

stuck in traffic average 58 hours per year in L.A. and 35 hours per year in San Bernardino. Let’s say you average 26 mpg, with gas at $2.20/gallon — that’s $171 per year spent on gas while stuck in L.A. traffic! In Effingham, I spent $0 dollars on gas while stuck in traffic last year.

Nostalgic Appeal: People are attracted to an ideal of how life used to be. According to Leland Speed, economic-development director for the Mississippi Development Authority, “The sense of place is becoming more important. Look at Oxford, Miss., where single family housing within 3 blocks of the square sells for $300 a square foot, compared to half that price on the outskirts of town.” Once known as a college town with some fledgling industry, Oxford today attracts people from all over the country looking for a small-town experience with big-town attractions.

Jack Schultz

Agracel, CEO

Author of BoomtownUSA: The 7 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns

Effingham, Ill.

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