The cost of living in a big city is quickly becoming too expensive for many Millennials. According to Trulia, 51.1 percent of 18 to 34 year olds are moving out of the most expensive cities in the U.S. But where are they going?
In a recent Entrepreneur article, Maggie Gordon writes, "Sometimes, these millennials are just moving to the suburbs to start families. Other times, they’re headed to places where somebody has sparked an entrepreneurial fire.”
By now you've probably heard of Waco, Texas. In her article, Gordon explains how small cities, like Waco, are being shaped by individuals like Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HTGV's Fixer Upper. "In opening multiple businesses there, they've helped turn the city into a certifiable tourist destination -- sparking not just an ecosystem of other businesses that serve the tens of thousands of fans rolling in each week but also a model of how entrepreneurs in other cities even without the backing of a cable TV show, can make an enormous difference."
There are a number of parallels between this small Texas town and South Bend, Indiana. Both are a short drive from major cities. Both have rivers running through them with beautiful scenic views. Each city has a private university at its heart. Both have between 100,000 and 150,000 residents. And both cities were deeply affected when the manufacturing industry took a hit.
Obviously, South Bend doesn't have a charming couple making waves on television, so what can we do to draw in these relocating Millennials? In many ways, we are already doing it. Like Waco, this "entrepreneurial fire" is quickly igniting in South Bend. And there's currently an infectious energy and collective excitement surrounding the plans on the horizon.
“With developers poised to plow more than $200 million into the local economy over the next 12 months, 2017 is shaping up to be a transformative year for both South Bend and [its neighboring city] Mishawaka,” says Erin Blasko. You can read more about those developments here.
Adding to the excitement is the continuous evolution of the South Bend Cubs. Ask anyone around town, and they'll tell you about the positive impact owner, Andrew Berlin, and the Cubs have brought to the west side of South Bend's downtown. Berlin has proven his commitment to the city by making numerous upgrades to a previously declining stadium.
So although South Bend doesn't have the exposure that Waco has, it does have something more important working in its favor. South Bend has individuals who call this place home and are committed to making something of it - people who see the potential of the city and are working towards making their dreams a reality, thus inspiring others in the process. After all, "Successful entrepreneurs inspire other entrepreneurs, and their collective success is transformative," says Gordon.
It's apparent that the flame has been sparked in South Bend. And this is just the beginning of something great.
About the author:
Tina O'Connor is the Creative Director for Alpha Dog Agency. Born & raised in South Bend, Tina has a love for Notre Dame and the Chicago Cubs. When she's not working, you'll probably find her hanging out with her miniature pinscher, Deuce. Follow along on Instagram where you can experience life through her lens.