Small Kansas towns have large assets to capitalize on. Not only are they surrounded by beautiful, vast prairies, but there are a lot of benefits to being a part of one of these small communities. Growing up in the least populated county in the state of Kansas, I have always appreciated when people keep their tax dollars local and support the small businesses that line the downtown areas. These small businesses give a reason for people to stay in town and not have to travel many miles to big chain stores to purchase daily necessities.
One strategy to help improve the commonwealth of such towns is to promote skilled labor. If grants and/or scholarships from small towns were available for those interested in carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and IT, it would give inventive for this type of worker to settle down in rural communities where their services are just as much of a necessity as they are in larger cities and towns.
Another idea to help develop the commonwealth is to assist individuals and business with agritourism. This helps people traveling through, to enjoy the rural areas and provides more jobs for those in the area.
With all the ideas that can help commonwealth assets, one necessity is housing. Rural housing is needed for families to be able to find a place to call home. People can enjoy the rural Western Kansas lifestyle by having the ability to settle down with the help that the skilled labor provides. I hope we will be able to provide beneficial commonwealth assets for our small Kansas towns to stay alive and thrive!