I applaud Edward French's recent editorial that expressed his thoughts and speculations about aiding Eastport's economic development by galvanizing some community focus towards attracting more remote workers. In my own experience with this, my wife Manuela and I have been running our full time IT consultation business successfully here for about 4 years and we have been quite happy and grateful to have moved here and rooted ourselves among this vibrant and multifaceted community.
To be quite honest, we were at best treading water in our previous home in NJ. The cost of living in the NY metro area is beyond insane. We found that the combination of gorgeous natural scenery, a feisty, eclectic and world class arts scene, a rugged working waterfront and a house we could actually afford were compelling reasons to make the move. Though we certainly do sorely miss family and friends at times, we have no regrets about moving here or the incredible life we are developing.
However, I don't especially see Eastport as being an ideal location for single, young people - though some do love it.. I see Eastport as being most appealing to young families looking to take root in and contribute to a community with incredible potential. Young families buying and renovating homes, shopping and recreating locally, and participating in education here would be a tremendous gain to our local economy and social fabric.
Furthermore, as much as we need to highlight the attractive aspects of life here to prospective remote workers, it also needs to make sense to the employers of said prospective telecommuters. My own testimonial in applying a winning argument in favor of this would be to inform prospective employers about the time during Hurricane Sandy when our major label media client in Manhattan was unable to operate for over a week during the storm and it's subsequent repercussions. While they were down for the count, our modest team here in Eastport was able to leverage the difference in our geography towards our client's well being and enable some core IS&T operations to trickle through our modest home office. Basically a DSL connection, two laptops and a generator in the shed, saved the back end of a huge record company during a monumental weather crisis in NYC.
Subsequently, our relocation is now proven as a prudent tactical and logistical advantage to our clients - a key selling point. In fact Eastport would be an ideal location to have a technical support/customer service center that could not only attract new people to the area but also provide employment and training opportunities for the existing population. These types of call centers usually operate 24/7 to deal with a global customer base. Eastport has a workforce that is often accustomed to working several part time jobs to make ends meet and often at non typical US business hours. There is a huge variety of people that would benefit from additional and flexible work opportunities in entry level technology oriented positions.
Anyway, I think this is terrific idea and I just wanted to weigh in on some initial thoughts that have come to mind after reading the editorial. I look forward to seeing how things evolve. Thank you for initiating and promoting this train of thought.