Rural America Online is a Global Investment Attraction Group, Inc. member dedicated to providing affordable strategic planning for rural communities. Strategic planning clarifies the process of building a local foundation for economic development. A community must know where it wants to go and how to get there. Our mission is to help by developing a strategy – a plan or road map – showing you how to get there!
Economic Development Consulting
We are a small group of consultants focusing on rural communities. We can help you develop an economic development strategy-driven plan to attract investment. Contact us for a free consultation.
Smart Growth Strategies for Rural Communities
Smart growth strategies look different from one location to the next. For rural communities, it’s imperative that it involves an overall approach to development which includes quality of life, jobs, remote work opportunities, diverse housing, transportation options, community engagement, and more.
IEDC Leadership Summit
Hoori Khandani, Executive Director, was a Panel Speaker for the International Economic Development Council’s 2022 Leadership Summit on the topic of “Countering the Great Resignation”.
The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a strategic planning tool used by organizations to ensure there is a clear objective informed by a comprehensive understanding of a region’s capabilities and capacity.
COVID-19 has changed the ways companies will navigate the location decision process. With credible economic development information available online, the days of corporate decision-makers doing onsite visits may be gone forever.
Target Industry Analysis
Knowing the industries most likely to prosper in your community is imperative. Target industry studies are an effective tool that advances rural communities in identifying favorable industries to pursue.
Quality of life: Communities are in a global competition to attract and retain talented workers. These workers, especially Millennials, figure out where they want to live, and then they figure out their job situation.
“Boots on the Ground”
We do “Boots on the Ground” site visits to take an in-depth look at your community to assess areas of opportunity, determine assets and develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
Working remotely has been a revolution for rural America as it allows small towns and rural communities to compete with big cities and suburbs. The ability to work remotely will only continue to increase into 2023.
Strategies for Rural Communities
Millennials moving into their prime homebuying years are increasingly choosing homes in suburban locations with affordable housing, lower costs, lack of congestion, a greater sense of community, and a slower pace of life; and the ability to work remotely has accelerated it. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans are less likely now, than before Covid, to want to live in cities, and more likely to prefer the suburbs.
The Benefits of Placemaking
Rural communities have an opportunity to create sustainable business growth and investment that will diversify their region’s economy and expand employment opportunities. The key insight is knowing that companies seek talented workers, who seek quality places, and quality places attract talented people!
The Brookings Institution explains how structural shifts in the labor market now mean that human capabilities are the fundamental driver of regional and state economic development. Therefore, embracing placemaking as a core strategy is necessary for creating economic development. It becomes a virtuous circle of corporate decision-makers looking at the quality of life in a community when considering an expansion or relocation because they know today’s top talent wants to live in a community with a quality of life.
The Necessity of Storytelling
Your website is the digital front door to your community, which is why you must use it to tell your story. To create a positive experience, one must create a website that is both welcoming and accurately represents their community. A great economic development website looks visually appealing, functions well, and easily leads corporate decision-makers to the information they need to consider your location.
Humans are visual creatures, primarily processing information based on what we see. The average person reads about 20% of the text on a webpage, and because visuals allow the brain to take shortcuts, using videos and images on your site to highlight your community’s advantages keeps the viewer engaged and interested. Videos such as testimonials from existing company executives, and new companies revealing the benefits your community offers, are powerful and impactful to those considering your location.
Solutions for Rural Communities
At the Global Investment Attraction Group, our team provides affordable solutions that position rural communities for long-term economic success by creating economic opportunities. To succeed in economic development efforts, a community must have a strategy – a plan or a road map showing where they want to go and how to get there. Corporate decision-makers first seek out your quality of life, knowledgeable workforce, educational institutions, and workforce training. Following are available facilities, incentives, and other resources.
Our team performs “Boots on the Ground” site visits to take an in-depth look at your community to assess areas of opportunity, determine assets, and develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Executive Director, Ms. Hoori Khandani, performs our site visits. If desired, she can meet with key people in your educational institutions and speak to students about the importance of education and workforce training. See Ms. Khandani’s bio for more information: Khandani Bio.
The Ability to Reduce Brain Drain
The most effective long-term approach for communities to stem their brain drain, the out-migration of young college-educated workers from the nation’s rural communities, is to discourage them from leaving in the first place. To do this, they must see the benefits of staying, such as providing better jobs, more opportunities, and a higher standard of living.
The Global Investment Attraction Group offers the following Investment Attraction Strategies:
- SWOT Analysis
- Target Industry Studies
- Digital Lead Generation
- Attracting Foreign Investment
- Scheduling Meetings at Trade Shows
- Website Development + Design