Coworking spaces are a great resource for rural communities. They provide opportunities to collaborate, network, and work with people who have different skillsets than you do. This is an opportunity that small towns need in order to stay alive. Rural communities often struggle economically because they lack the resources of larger cities or suburbs. There are many benefits to coworking space including giving employees more disposable income so they can spend money locally, increasing employment rates, and making small town sustainability possible!
What is a coworking space?
If you don't already know, a coworking space is basically like a shared office space where people rent desks and offices for short periods of time. The idea behind it is that coworking spaces give small businesses the chance to get off the ground with less risk because they can rent equipment and office space instead of buying their own. In addition, employees are able to take home more paychecks in comparison to an individual entrepreneur working from their house or apartment–which also has benefits for the local economy.
Starting a business in a rural area
When it comes to starting up a company or work from home business, the costs associated with real estate purchases at first start-up are minimal compared to buying a building or leasing to start a business.
Coworking spaces can provide low-cost shared office space for home-based business owners which provides them with more disposable income. That in turn provides a better quality of life for the individual family as well.
Leveraging coworking spaces can help rural communities stay sustainable and grow their economy by providing an easy-to-access workspace that's affordable for all, without sacrificing quality or sustainability. ConnectWork on Main is a great place to start your business or convert your hobby to a side hustle.
StartUps and Getting Left Behind
As the amount of startups and businesses in this country grows, we need to be more thoughtful about how rural communities are able to sustain themselves economically. Rural towns have traditionally been left behind when it comes to economic development that is specific for them. This has led many small isolated towns to suffer from poverty, crime, unemployment, addiction rates, and other things leading to slow economic growth.
Urban vs. Rural Areas
Urban centers are typically expensive and crowded; in contrast, most geographic locations that are likely to be considered “rural” have plenty of affordable property available. In small towns, the rent prices are less expensive than in metropolitan cities and that gives these communities an advantage over their bigger counterparts.
Coworking spaces can help rural areas revitalize abandoned buildings and create a sustainable ecosystem. It is for this reason that coworking spaces should be intentional and focused on the economic impact they can have on their communities.
They provide a space for those who are not able to live in an urban area, but also allow rural towns to maintain some of their population with entrepreneurial start-ups which would otherwise move to more expensive areas. When this population stays, everyone benefits.
Economic revitalization doesn’t happen overnight
- The process of revitalizing an economy takes years
- It’s not as easy as just investing in a new industry or building a new factory
- There are many factors that go into this, such as education levels, infrastructure, and the environment
- And it doesn't happen overnight
A successful coworking space, and an intentional one, is most likely focused on the economic contribution and impact it can have on the community surrounding it. Those contributions happen when coworking spaces give small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups the chance to build a profitable business before having to purchase real estate. Allowing the founders and employees of those fledgling companies to take home more pay and potentially have more disposable income. When this income stays in the community, that's when the magic happens.
What does this mean for you?
It means that there's a lot of opportunity in rural communities for new startups. And while these aren't necessarily the most lucrative markets, they are growing and need to be cultivated. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas about how coworking spaces can benefit the community! Also, we hope it has helped you think about how you fit into the picture and where your strengths can be applied to revitalize the economic ecosystem.