The big tech companies are coming to small towns! Google, Facebook, and Amazon are all making plans to set up shop in rural communities across the country. What does this mean for the future of small town America?
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The big tech Movement
Google’s “Project Oxygen”
Alphabet Inc.’s Google is one of the latest big tech companies to invest in a small town, with the goal of turning it into a “smart city.”
The company has been working on a project called “Project Oxygen” for several years, and it is finally starting to take shape in the form of a new campus in the town of Berkshire, New York. The project is still in its early stages, but Google has already invested $1 million in the town and is planning to build a $10 million data center there.
The company has been tight-lipped about the project, but local officials say that it will be a major boost to the economy. They are also hoping that it will attract other big tech companies to the area.
In 2017, Amazon announced that it was looking for a second headquarters, a project it called “HQ2.” The company invited cities to submit proposals, promising to invest over $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs. The search generated a lot of excitement—and some criticism. Some cities offered huge tax breaks to lure Amazon, while others raised concerns about the impact the tech giant would have on their community.
In the end, Amazon picked two winners: Crystal City, Virginia (in the Washington, D.C. metro area) and new york city Amazon had originally planned to split HQ2 between the two locations, but later scrapped the new york city part of the project due to opposition from local politicians.
Amazon isn’t the only tech company expanding beyond Silicon Valley. Google has been growing its presence in cities like Boulder, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; and Kirkland, Washington (near Seattle). And Apple is building a new campus in Austin, Texas.
The Big Tech movement is benefiting small towns and revitalizing city centers that have been struggling. These projects are bringing new jobs and investment to communities that need it—but they’re also raising concerns about the impact of these tech giants on local economies and cultures.
Facebook’s “Community Boost”
Facebook’s “Community Boost” is a program designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to make the most of digital tools. The program will offer free in-person training, one-on-one coaching, and online resources in select US cities.
The program will kick off in Greensboro, North Carolina, with plans to expand to more than 25 additional US cities throughout 2018. Community Boost will visit each city for three to five days and will offer training on topics like using Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram for business, building an online presence, attracting customers with advertising, and leveraging Facebook’s family of apps.
The goal of the program is to help small businesses grow and create jobs in their communities. In addition to the in-person training and coaching, Facebook will also partner with local organizations in each city to provide additional resources and support.
Why Small Towns?
In the past, big tech companies have been known to set up shop in large metropolitan areas. However, this is starting to change. Small towns are becoming more appealing to these companies for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why small towns are becoming more appealing to big tech companies.
Access to a Skilled Workforce
One of the most appealing aspects of small towns for big tech companies is the access to a skilled workforce. In many cases, these towns have residents who have been working in the same industries for generations and have a wealth of experience and knowledge. For companies looking to tap into this talent pool, small towns can be an ideal option.
Another benefit of locating in a small town is the close-knit community. This can be beneficial for recruiting employees, as potential candidates will often have friends or family members who can provide insights into the company culture. In addition, the close-knit community can also help with employee retention, as workers will be more likely to feel like they are part of a team and not just another cog in the machine.
Low Cost of Living
One of the main factors that contributes to the growing popularity of small towns is the low cost of living. In larger cities, the cost of living can be quite high, making it difficult for people to make ends meet. Smaller towns typically have a lower cost of living, which makes it easier for people to afford basic necessities like housing, food, and transportation.
Another factor that attracts people to small towns is the sense of community that can be found there. Smaller towns tend to be more close-knit than larger cities, and people often feel a stronger sense of connection to their neighbors. There is also usually a greater sense of safety in smaller towns, as there is less crime than in larger urban areas.
Quality of Life
One of the main reasons that people are moving to small towns is for the quality of life. In a small town, you can have a slower pace of life, which can be great if you’re looking to wind down from the hustle and bustle of city life. Small towns also tend to be more close-knit communities, where everyone knows each other. This can make it feel like you’re part of a community rather than just another number in a big city. And finally, small towns often have lower crime rates than large cities, so you can feel safer and more secure.
What’s in it for the Residents of Small Towns?
Big Tech Companies are coming to small towns and the residents are wondering what’s in it for them. The answer is simple- more jobs. With the influx of these big companies, comes the need for more employees. And not just any employees, but qualified employees. This is where the residents of small towns have the advantage.
More Job Opportunities
The expansion of big tech companies in small towns not only creates more job opportunities for the residents, but also helps to improve the local economy. When residents have more money to spend, they are able to patronize local businesses, which in turn creates even more jobs. In addition, the presence of a big tech company can help to attract other businesses to the area.
Increased Tax Revenue
The expansion of big tech companies into small towns not only provides jobs and opportunities for the residents, but also increases tax revenue for the town. This increased tax revenue can be used to improve the infrastructure of the town, as well as to provide more services and opportunities for the residents. In addition, the presence of a big tech company can attract other businesses to the town, further increasing tax revenue and creating even more jobs.
When big tech companies come to small towns, it often results in an improved infrastructure. This improved infrastructure can include better roads, bridges, and overall utility services. The increased tax revenue generated by the big tech company can also be used to improve schools, parks, and other public amenities. These improvements can make small towns more attractive places to live, work, and raise a family.