Monday, August 8, 2016

Small Town Illinois

The Southern has a good piece looking at the economies of Alto Pass, Makanda and Cobden. Of the three, Cobden is the only one that is self-sustaining. Residents of Cobden do not need to leave the community in order to procure the basics of today's lifestyle, though the town does not offer a great selection.  Cobden has the Dollar General and a gas station, which provide a selection of products and fuel for residents.  Alto Pass has Grammer's Market, which provides the selection of products but has no gas station, while Makanda, "The Valley of the Arts", has neither, with residents having to drive to Carbondale to shop.

The ability of residents to travel both allows these small communities to survive and at the same time prevents them from growing.  Residents of all three communities can easily get to Carbondale to work, meaning they can have an income while still living in a small town. However, it also makes it easier to leave town to shop, meaning there is little incentive for more stores to move into the community.

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