Palco, Kansas Launches New Community Website

May 21, 2015: Palco, Kansas has launched a new community website on LoveSmallTownAmerica.com, an online network for small towns, at: http://lovesmalltownamerica.com/palcoks.php

Love Small Town America provides another powerful tool for Palco to recruit new residents by providing a package of webpages to establish a community portal on www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com. This opens the door for other community attractions, including businesses, churches, schools, organizations, and more, to have a web presence as well.

Palco’s new website features community information, a community calendar, photo gallery, business pages, job listings, real estate listings, and more. Continue reading

News Release: Eight Kansas ROZ Communities Awarded Scholarships by the Kansas Department of Commerce to Create Websites

Grainfield, Kansas, February 4, 2015 — Love Small Town America, Inc., an online network for small towns, announces eight Rural Opportunity Zone communities were awarded website scholarships by the Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC). Four counties and four cities in Kansas were awarded website scholarships to sponsor community webpages on www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com and membership in the Love Small Town America (LSTA) network. Counties: Comanche County, Graham County, Montgomery County, and Sheridan County Cities: Galena, Hoxie, Palco, and Summerfield.

All eight of the selected communities participate in the Kansas Rural Opportunity Zone program. The website scholarship awards were made by the Kansas Department of Commerce after a competitive application process.

“As a non-profit foundation it is important to make sure our mission and information is heard by not only our county residents, but by friends of Comanche County far and wide. We knew when applying for the Love Small Town America website scholarship that it was a fantastic opportunity to share our mission. We look forward to LSTA providing an informative, professional and interactive site that will show what a great place Comanche County is to live, work and raise a family and keep our residents and friends of Comanche County up-to-date on current happenings and all of our great plans for the future,” said Loretta Heft, Executive Director of the Comanche County Economic Development Foundation.

Webpages for Comanche County, Galena, Hoxie, and Sheridan County are already online. The other four community webpages will be online during winter/spring 2015. Hoxie and Sheridan County received a website scholarship from the KDOC for the second year in the row.

These eight ROZ communities join twelve other Kansas communities on the LSTA network, which is expanding across the state and nation.

“Offering small communities and counties an avenue to showcase themselves to people across the world is so important to us. W’re thrilled to have partnered with the Kansas Department of Commerce for a second year to make the important task of building and maintaining a web presence easier for those ROZ Scholarship winners. Now they can sit back and feel like their looming to-do lists are lighter and in good hands,” said Nicole Godek, LSTA CEO.

The scholarship is designed to provide another powerful tool for ROZ communities to recruit new residents by providing a package of webpages to establish a community portal on www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com. This opens the door for other community attractions, including businesses, churches, schools, organizations, and more, to have a web presence as well.

Love Small Town America is dedicated to providing small towns with an affordable, comprehensive online presence and access to a national network of small town promotional opportunities and resources. Love Small Town America integrates a comprehensive website package with free advertising for members and rich features like job listings, a community calendar, and a photo gallery.

“As small towns we have pride in our quality of life and work ethic. Finding this type of lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult for those looking for it,” said Godek.

Love Small Town America’s mission and experience with web design spurred a partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce in order to offer more communities a resource to make their efforts to grow successful.

For more information about joining Love Small Town America, contact:

Shelley Paasch, Sales 
E-mail: Shelley@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com
Phone: 785.374.3067

About Love Small Town America: 
Love Small Town America, Inc. is a Grainfield, Kansas based online network for small towns founded by Nicole Godek providing full-service online solutions for small towns to get their town, local businesses, real estate offerings, events calendar, and more online and to promote their needs and assets while also building an international network that members can leverage to reach their goals.  Love Small Town America provides professional and innovative webpage design, content writing, webpage updates, website marketing, web hosting, website maintenance, SEO, website renovations, and social media advertising for members. All-inclusive webpage packages start at $225 annually for businesses and $499 annually for communities. For more information, visit www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com.

A Place to Call Home

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Is there any better feeling than being “home”? One of the reasons we created Love Small Town America is because we want to help people find that place where they feel that sense of comfort, acceptance, and community. We received an enquiry from someone looking for that special place. Rather than tell you about the people we want to help, we thought we’d let the story speak for itself. Continue reading

Frontier Communications, DISH, CoBank Team up to Support Revitalization of Small Cities with America’s Best Communities Contest

This opportunity came to our inbox and we wanted to share it with all of our great small town communities! Does your community have what it takes to be named one of Frontier Communications’ “America’s Best Communities”? There are big prize dollars for the communities whose proposals help small towns in America thrive.

More than $10 million dedicated to support innovation and growth
in 50 rural communities over three years. Frontier, DISH, CoBank challenge communities across America to submit and implement
their best plans for future growth and prosperity. Unique financial rewards, support network for small communities to collaborate, initiate change for long-term sustainability.

Continue reading

Blue Skyways Shutting Down June 30, 2014

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For more than 250 Kansas communities, Blue Skyways has been an online home. The website is a service of the State Library of Kansas and has served as a hub for resources about Kansas communities, heritage, government, and libraries. Now, Blue Skyways is shutting down.

The Blue Skyways web service will end as of June 30, 2014, citing the state of the State Library budget as the primary cause. We received the following announcement and request to spread the word to communities who may have benefitted from Blue Skyways in the past.

“While Skyways has been a highly successful and beneficial service in its day, with the widespread availability today of affordable, functional web hosting options, it is no longer central to our mission.

State Library and our host KU Medical Center’s Internet Development Unit will be working together to develop a plan for notifying account holders, and identifying ways to facilitate migrating sites and content where the owner wishes to do so.”

Questions? Contact:

Jeff Hixon
Director
Statewide Services
State Library of Kansas
300 SW Tenth Ave | Rm 312-N
Topeka KS 66612·1593
785·296·3154  | 800·432·3919
785·368·7291  FAX

We are proud to offer communities an affordable alternative with even more benefits than Blue Skyways. To begin migrating your Blue Skyways website content to a new home on LoveSmallTownAmerica.com, contact us today.

Luke Mahin, Sales 

E-mail: Luke@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Phone: 785-374-3067

About Love Small Town America: 

Love Small Town America, Inc. is a Grainfield, Kansas based online network for small towns founded by Nicole Godek providing full-service online solutions for small towns to get their town, local businesses, real estate offerings, events calendar, and more online and to promote their needs and assets while also building an international network that members can leverage to reach their goals.  Love Small Town America provides professional and innovative webpage design, content writing, webpage updates, website marketing, web hosting, website maintenance, SEO, website renovations, and social media advertising for members. All-inclusive webpage packages start at $225 annually. For more information, visit www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Small town population: The story behind the numbers

73 Kansas counties participate in the Rural Opportunity Zones program.

73 Kansas counties participate in the Rural Opportunity Zones program.

Small communities are often worried about population. According to a Carsey Institute report, rural America contains 75% of the country’s land and 17% of its population. Understanding shifts in population and 21st century opportunities in rural America are important for everyone.

Stereotypes abound about small town, rural America. Stereotypes like backwards towns, where everyone wears overalls and drives a tractor. Stereotypes like isolated ghost towns. Stereotypes like a dead end road of limited opportunities.

In reality, only 6% of rural residents are employed in agriculture. In reality, many small towns are meccas for new types of industries, or at least, new-to-them industries. In reality, many small towns are becoming tourist destinations, research centers, or tranquil homes for telecommuters.

Population numbers mean a lot to small communities. Population means workers filling jobs, families purchasing homes, and children filling schools. Population means a tax base, voter base, and volunteer pool. Population means friends and neighbors and a vibrant existence.

The Rural Opportunity Zones program is one way Kansas is turning the tide of out-migration. Young people in their 20s are predominantly the demographic moving out of rural America. The ROZ program extends a tempting offer – move to certain Kansas counties and start life fresh, without the monkey of student loan debt on your back and with enticing income tax offers. Start your life where your community appreciates you, where your presence is vital, where you can fill an important role.

Since the program’s launch in 2012, 1,450 people have applied to move to ROZ counties. Many of these people have spouses and families. Maybe 1,450 seems like a huge number to you; maybe it seems small. But, in a town like our headquarters of Grainfield, population 277, even one new family makes a difference.

If one new family moved to every small town in the country, how would that change the landscape of rural America? It’s an exciting thought. Maybe one town would get a doctor, or another would find the perfect volunteer to run the school carnival, or to restore a beautiful Victorian home. Every person moving to rural America makes a difference. That’s why we’re so excited to support a program that has thousands of people interested in moving to rural Kansas.

Currently, we’re proud to call 6 of the 73 counties participating in the Kansas ROZ program LSTA members. Hopefully, this number will continue to grow! Our 2014 ROZ Website Scholarship is accepting applications until May 1, 2014. Learn more here.

Learn About Farm Safety

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Farm Safety Just for Kids is a non-profit dedicated to promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to children and youth. The Kansas outreach coordinator, Kali Roberts, is looking for communities who are interested in scheduling a free presentation.

Kali works with communities to facilitate farm safety presentations to local youth and their families at events and meetings and she is available to set up presentations during the summer and fall.

Presentations are free of cost. Typical events where Kali makes presentations: county fairs, preschool/church classrooms, 4-H groups, town festivals, co-op producer safety meetings. Most activities are geared toward elementary school children.

If you are interested in coordinating a free farm safety presentation, contact Kali here:
Kali Roberts
785-393-3227
kalir@ksu.edu
farmsafetyforjustkids.org

Eight Kansas ROZ Communities Awarded Scholarships by the Kansas Department of Commerce to Create Websites

It’s here! It’s here! The day has finally arrived when we can share with you the new communities that will be joining Love Small Town America as a result of the Rural Opportunity Zone website scholarships! Keep reading for the full text of our news release!

Eight Kansas ROZ Communities Awarded Scholarships by the Kansas Department of Commerce to Create Websites

Grainfield, Kansas, June 24, 2013 — Love Small Town America, Inc., an online network for small towns, announces eight Rural Opportunity Zone communities were awarded website scholarships by the Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC). The KDOC sponsored a limited number of scholarships that pay for ROZ community webpages on www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com and membership in the Love Small Town America network. Four counties and four cities in Kansas were awarded website scholarships. Counties: Ness County, Republic County, Sheridan County, and Smith County. Cities: Bird City, Courtland, Hoxie, and Lebanon.

All eight of the selected communities participate in the Kansas Rural Opportunity Zone program. The website scholarship awards were made by the Kansas Department of Commerce after a competitive application process.

“In the past, our community has not had a strong online presence or a central location for community members to find community information. That is what we hope our Love Small Town America sites will become for our community. Our goal was to create a sustainable website that the community interacts with and we are excited to see how it will grow through Love Small Town America,” said Julianne Shoup, Sheridan County K-State Extension Agent.

Webpages for Hoxie and Sheridan County are already online. The other six community webpages will be online during summer 2013. These eight ROZ communities join eight other Kansas communities on the Love Small Town America network, which is expanding nationwide.

“I’m ecstatic to bring eight fellow ROZ communities to Love Small Town America. This not only means providing a place for their residents and nearby townspeople to go to find information about events and businesses, but also provides more options for the audience that visits the Love Small Town America site looking for a small town to settle in or visit,” said Nicole Godek, LSTA CEO.

The scholarship is designed to provide another powerful tool for ROZ communities to recruit new residents by providing a package of webpages to establish a community portal on www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com. This opens the door for other community attractions, including businesses, churches, schools, organizations, and more, to have a web presence as well.

“The Smith County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) does not have a website and we are so grateful for the opportunity to more widely advertise the events and places of interest throughout Smith County. Many already know of the great hunting and fishing, but there are lesser-known places of interest that have not gotten recognition before. We want to get the word out that it’s easy to come and experience Smith County, Kansas,” said Cindy Stones, Smith County CVB member.

Love Small Town America is dedicated to providing small towns with an affordable, comprehensive online presence and access to a national network of small town promotional opportunities and resources. Love Small Town America integrates a comprehensive website package with free advertising for members and rich features like job listings, a community calendar, and a photo gallery.

“As our network continues to grow, so do the opportunities and the future for our small towns and counties. It’s a win-win situation in my eyes. Plus, I’m excited to utilize the site to see what events my family can venture to. I’ve always said every small town has a treasure, whether it’s a unique business, fun event or great restaurant. Now it’ll be easy to find them!” said Godek.

Love Small Town America’s mission and experience with web design spurred a partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce in order to offer more communities a resource to make their efforts to grow successful.

For more information about joining Love Small Town America, contact:

   Luke Mahin, Sales

E-mail: Luke@LoveSmallTownAmerica.com

Phone: 785-374-3067

About Love Small Town America:

Love Small Town America, Inc. is a Grainfield, Kansas based online network for small towns founded by Nicole Godek providing full-service online solutions for small towns to get their town, local businesses, real estate offerings, events calendar, and more online and to promote their needs and assets while also building an international network that members can leverage to reach their goals.  Love Small Town America provides professional and innovative webpage design, content writing, webpage updates, website marketing, web hosting, website maintenance, SEO, website renovations, and social media advertising for members. All-inclusive webpage packages start at $225 annually. For more information, visit www.LoveSmallTownAmerica.com.

About Nicole Godek:

Nicole Godek graduated from Kansas State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design. Since then Nicole has worked as a designer at large and small firms across the country before founding her own graphic and web design business, StirStick Studio. As CEO and founder for Love Small Town America, Nicole oversees a team of professionals located across the Midwest as she pursues the mission of bringing small town America online and into the future. Love Small Town America assists small communities, businesses, and organizations by integrating cutting edge web programming with modern marketing concepts to make professional web pages affordable for small towns and increasing their reach through the power of the Love Small Town America network.

Help Bart and Rorie Discover the Best of Small Town America

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Bart Russell was called the “voice of small town America” by none other than Ronald Reagan. So, why does he need your help?

After retiring last year from a career in small town advocacy, Russell is taking his passion for small towns in a new direction – quite possibly, in your direction.

As leader of the municipal advocacy group Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST), Russell served for 18 years bringing small town issues to prominence. During that time, he also served as CEO of the National Association of Towns and president of its National Center for Small Communities.

Now, Russell is taking politics out of the equation and promising to shine a light on the 144 million small town residents in America and what they have to offer as part of a venture he calls “Everything Small Town.”

The mission: Everything Small Town™ shines a global spotlight on promising projects and programs designed to make America’s 30,000, plus smaller communities better places in which to live, work and do business.

Now, Everything Small Town™ is hitting the road for its inaugural “Discover Small Town America” tour this June. They’ll be heading to the west coast taking Route 40 to SoCal for 4th of July weekend and returning via Route 70 to the east coast in late July.

In between, they’ll be soaking up as much of small town America as they can.

Says Russell, “We’ve received invitations from wonderful people to check out wonderful towns, like Cloudcroft and Ruidoso, NM, Greenville and Dresden OH, Ligonier, IN, Grainfield and other [KS] towns. Some of you have said you’ll get back with your recommendations for experiencing the best of small town America on byways close to I-40 and I-70 in Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. WE CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU…”

We here at Love Small Town America would love to show them what OUR great small towns have to offer. Have an idea on where Bart and Rorie Russell should stop on their Everything Small Town journey? Let them know, via their Facebook page.

“We’re really looking forward to meeting some new friends, visiting their hometowns and shining the spotlight on some amazing people and places. Thanks for all the offers of hospitality you’ve extended!” says Russell.

“We would love to have your thoughts, recommendations and your “likes” at Everything Small Town™.”

Let’s show Everything Small Town some “LOVE”…Small Town America, that is!

www.BartonRussell.com
www.facebook.com/EverythingSmallTown

LSTA & KS Dept. of Commerce Offering ROZ Communities Free Webpages

Love Small Town America and the KS Dept. of Commerce Have Partnered to Bring ROZ Communities Free Webpages

ROZs Can Join LSTA for FREE

ROZs Can Join LSTA for FREE

From now until Feb. 13, ROZ Communities (towns or counties) can apply for a free webpage and Love Small Town America membership. You get a great, worry-free web presence, free advertising and promotion, a listing in our directory of towns and/or counties, and connections to a growing network of small towns. It’s easy, it’s free, it makes a difference. The Kansas Department of Commerce feels so strongly that this is a vital step for ROZ communities to take, they’re footing the bill so ROZ communities can get in on this great opportunity. Scholarships are limited, so apply as soon as possible to ensure you are one of the lucky ones!

What is the ROZ Webpage Scholarship?

A one-year scholarship (valued at $225+) that covers the cost of a community webpage and membership in the Love Small Town America network to provide accurate, interesting information about your community, share events, post jobs and real estate listings, connect local businesses with publicity and affordable webpages of their own, and get your community noticed!

Check out a community webpage and click through the different tabs to see the many features. Visit: Grainfield, KS.

What Are the Benefits of a Love Small Town America Webpage?

Our members are part of a network of small communities. Every member gets a full-featured web presence that is completely hassle-free. We do all the work, from building the site, to writing the copy, to performing maintenance and updates. We also include free promotion as part of the deal to help you show the world why they should call a small town home and to showcase the best small towns in America. Learn more about the many benefits you’ll receive as a Love Small Town America member when you apply for the webpage scholarship.

How Do I Apply?

Fill out a scholarship application and return it to Chris Harris at charris@kansascommerce.com. Communities (counties or towns) participating in the ROZ program with a population of 5,000 or fewer can apply.

Or: Contact Luke Mahin at Luke@Lovesmalltownamerica.com or 785-374-3067 for assistance filling out your application or to ask questions.