Frontenac Launches Community Website!

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September 14, 2015:

Frontenac, KS has launched a new community website on LoveSmallTownAmerica.com, an online network for small towns, at: http://lovesmalltownamerica.com/frontenacks.php

Love Small Town America provides another powerful tool for Frontenac 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.

Frontenac

Frontenac’s new website features community information, a community calendar, photo gallery, business pages, job listings, real estate listings, and more. The calendar will be updated weekly with new events and residents can subscribe to receive updated listings by e-mail.

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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.

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.

Grainfield Kansas’ Historic Opera House Gets Modern Addition

The Grainfield Opera House is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a stately and historic structure situated in the business district of Grainfield. At various points in its history it has held a private school, mercantile, hosted dances, and even been a car dealership. Now, it is home once more to musical performances and special events.

Lovingly restored by Grainfield, Kansas residents, the historic Grainfield opera house recently gained a new addition that promises to keep patrons happy for years to come.  Continue reading

Highlights of Jewell County, Kansas

The dock at beautiful Emerson Lake in Jewell County, Kansas.

With numerous annual events, abundant access to hunting and fishing and a population of just over 3,000, Jewell County offers a high amount of recreation per-capita. Located in North-central Kansas within a short distance of major highways,  Jewell County is populated by charming towns, including the county seat of Mankato, Jewell, Burr Oak, Esbon, and several others.

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What’s in a Name…

JanSport’s “Grainfield” messenger bag is a wink at founder Skip Yowell’s small town roots.

This fall, why not show your small town pride by strapping a Grainfield bag to your back? JanSport co-founder Skip Yowell pays homage to his hometown of Grainfield, KS with the name of this stylish and practical messenger bag.

The rugged good looks and all-around utilitarianism of this line of bags named after frontier destinations from Grainfield to Fort Hays to Estes Park make them a great way to tote your gear in style. We love the iPad sleeve and laptop compartment on the Grainfield bag. Why not carry the Grainfield messenger bag on your next vacation through small town America?

Read more about notable Grainfield “alum” Skip Yowell in this story.

Great Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Even in a small town, life has a way of sneaking up on you sometimes. Some of you may already be prepared to shower the moms in your life with a day of special treatment, but for those of you who are just realizing that Sunday (May 13) is Mother’s Day, we’ve gathered a few suggestions that may make your last minute shopping a little less hectic.

1.) Give Mom the Night Off with Harvest Market
Women deserve to be pampered, but sometimes a thoughtful gift that will help ease the burden of a busy life can be just as nice – and even more appreciated! If your wife or mom is always busy caring for others – shuttling the family to sports practice, helping out with community events, and still juggling a household – she’ll appreciate a night off. Stop at Harvest Market in Grainfield and pick up the fixings for a family cooked meal – that you prepare. Not a cook? That’s ok – Harvest Market has party platters and barbecue (read more about Harvest Market) ready to go. While you’re there, snap up a bottle of luxurious body wash or scented soap and let mom take a soak while you round up dinner.

2. Give Mom’s Room a New Look with Grinnell Farm and Home Center
Is there a room in the house that needs a little extra love? Moms often leave themselves to last, so her bedroom might be able to use a little pick-me-up. Grinnell Farm and Home Center in Grinnell, KS is the perfect place to pick up a few remodeling essentials to help transform mom’s bedroom into a relaxing retreat. Through May 31, 2012 use their Love Small Town America coupon to receive 10% off a single purchase of paint up to 5 gallons. Add in a few brushes, rollers,  painter’s tape, and your helping hands to make this gift one mom will remember.

3. Make a Major Home Upgrade with J&J Carpet
Gifts can be practical as well as pretty! Who doesn’t love the sight of gleaming wood floors or beautiful stone tile? Mother’s Day might be the perfect reason to splurge on a home upgrade that will make mom smile long after Sunday. While you’re painting her bedroom, why not think about installing new flooring as well? Whether the whole house is overdue for new carpet, or she has a special spot in mind, J&J Carpet has what you need.

4. Surprise Mom with Special Specs from Kinderknecht Eye Care
Some things are cliches for a reason. Women love accessories and there’s no better time to upgrade eyewear than just in time to get a new look for long summer days. Old prescriptions just won’t do with sports games to watch, flowers to view, and sunsets to admire. New frames or sunglasses will keep mom’s eyes in style. Bring her to Kinderknecht Eye Care to pick out a new pair of frames. Their professional staff will help with all your questions and their great selection will satisfy even the pickiest mom.

5. Time from Little Hoot’s Daycare
Mom loves her kids, but sometimes she would love if she had a second to take a nap, get a manicure, or run some errands. Give the most precious gift of all – TIME – by arranging for mom to get some of it to herself. Little Hoot’s Daycare in Grinnell, Kansas can help with short or long-term solutions ranging from drop-in or after school daycare to full-time. Nutritious snacks and educational activities for the youngsters will help mom to breathe easy and enjoy her time to herself knowing her children are in good hands.

We hope one of these ideas sparks your imagination. Share your Mother’s Day plans and photos with us on our facebook page

Moms – which of these gifts would you like best? Leave a comment with your favorite!

 

What can businesses learn from small towns?

A new book, Small Town Rules: How Big Brands and Small Businesses Can Prosper in a Connected Economy, examines the lessons that businesses can learn from small towns. Small Town Rules argues that the interconnectedness of a global, web-based system of commerce where, “your customers can talk to everyone else,” presents similar challenges and opportunities to those of a small town, where, it could be argued, everyone talks to everyone else, too.

Small Town Rules

The book is co-authored by Becky McCray and Barry Molz, two digital heavyweights who have used the interconnectedness of the web-based system of exchange to foster respective careers in rural small business advocacy and entrepreneurship. Together they have outlined seven rules that businesses can learn from small towns and shared them in this book.

Whether or not the seven lessons revealed in this new book are ground-shaking epiphanies or statements of common sense remains to be seen; it’s not available until April, although you can pre-order now on Amazon.com. However, the symbiotic relationship between small towns and businesses is one that resonates with us at Love Small Town America. What do you think a business could learn from your small town? Tell us in the comments.

If you can’t wait until April, Small Town Rules co-author, Becky McCray, will preview her new book at the Social Media Tulsa Conference March 15-16, 2012.

 

Give Your Customers More of What they Want with More Frequent Updates

Main Street Dugout's February 2012 Coupon on Love Small Town America

Choosing is a bit of a Goldilock’s conundrum no matter what you are deciding between. If you hedge your bets, you  may end up with too little of what you need. Or, you may worry about diving into something that is “too big” for you. Love Small Town America offers three different update packages to fit your small business or organization: you can choose to have us update your page annually, monthly, or weekly. Even better, we give you the option to change your mind.

Main Street Dugout, a Grainfield institution we love, recently changed their update frequency from annual to monthly updates and we couldn’t be more excited (and that’s not just because we love to eat there). They are using their webpage on Love Small Town America to begin offering customers a coupon. So, more frequent updates make perfect sense for them- and for their customers.

We can’t wait to see what they do to keep all of us coming back to their webpage for more. Some information, like your address, only needs to be changed once in a while. But if your hours, promotions, merchandise, or other information changes more than once a year, monthly updates may be for you. Changing out photos will keep your page fresh and attract customers.

Updating your webpage more frequently to refresh content like pictures, information, and promotions, makes your webpage a destination visitors will return to again and again. If there were something simple you could do to help generate return business, wouldn’t you want to do it?

Offering a coupon on your Love Small Town America page is just one great idea. How will you make the most of your webpage?

Don’t have a webpage? Let us create one for you today. 

Gift Ideas that Go a Little Further

At this time of year, our thoughts are often on giving gifts, whether small or large. With every dollar counting more than ever, how can you stretch yours to go as far as possible while still taking care of the ones you love? Buy local. Buy small. Buy American. 

Tim Mitchell in Northwest Earth Institute’s Choices for Sustainable Living states, ‘A dollar spent at a locally owned store is usually spent 6 to 15 times before it leaves the community. From $1, you create $5 to $14 in value within that community. Conversely‘Spend $1 at a national chain store, and 80% leaves town immediately.’

 

Even if you’re only spending a single dollar – maybe to buy a bar of chocolate for a friend – if you buy it at your local grocery store, you are generating an economic ripple that can make that single dollar bill worth up to $15 dollars! Talk about some happy holidays!

This is exactly the kind of math that Love Small Town America wants to help everyone calculate. So, we rounded up a few of our businesses to share some creative gift ideas on our facebook and twitter pages that would not only make someone on your list smile – but that would make waves in your community’s economy. Here are all our ideas in one convenient location (Hint: feel free to print!)

Gift Idea #1: Gift certificates to Main Street Dugout in Grainfield
Don’t live in Grainfield? Buy a gift certificate to your local diner or pub. A $40 dinner could make up to $600 worth of difference in your community – and, your support can make a real difference to the owners.

Gift Idea #2: Custom vinyl decal from B’s Ultimate Finish in Grainfield
Many local print shops or automotive boutiques now offer custom vinyl decals. Decorate a car window or add some flair to a kid’s room, classroom, or even the ‘man-cave’.

Gift Idea #3: Brisket and pulled pork from Harvest Market 
Rural grocery stores need your support. Find a speciality item to gift or stick with high-quality basics that are always welcome (think European baking chocolate, bottled olives, and other delicacies). If you don’t have a grocery store nearby, try a restaurant or coffee shop for seasonal food gifts.

 

Gift Idea #4: Auto parts or car washing supplies from Jack’s
Even if cars aren’t *your* thing, there is a good chance you know someone who loves them or would appreciate a practical gift like an oil change or car wash – on you.

Gift Idea #5: A gift with real power: a gift certificate to Old 40 Depot to put a dent in paying for a new skid loader

We think these gifts would be great for just about anyone – especially those hard-to-shop-for men on our lists! – and will be long remembered, and appreciated. Whether you gather inspiration from this list or have something else in mind, remember that when your dollar stays in town, it grows.

Love Small Town America would like you to be our friend on facebook. Click here to see our page and click ‘like’ to join the conversation. We have big plans to offer our facebook friends exclusive giveaways, promotions, and contests. Plus, it’s just plain fun. Who can say no to that?! www.facebook.com/lovesmalltownamerica