Opening a business in a village with less than 2,000 inhabitants entitles to monthly income for 3 years
The southern Italian region of Campobasso has launched a new plan to combat the dwindling population of their area. The ‘Active residency allowance’ is reserved for newcomers that move in villages with a population of fewer than 2,000. It offers €700 per month for three years to all new residents that open a business. Moreover, a total of €10,000 will be given to each small village in a bid to improve infrastructure and encourage people who move there to stay.
“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture”. Donato Toma, the president of Molise, told the Guardian. “We wanted to do more; we wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything. It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population.”
Adding: “It’s not just a matter of increasing the population. People also need infrastructure and a reason to stay, otherwise we’ll end up back where we started in a few years.”
Molise‘s willingness to revive its beautiful small villages is due to the steady decline of the population. Currently, the whole region has 305,000 residents and more than 9,000 people have left Molise since 2014. In 2018, more than 2,800 residents died or left the area, and not a birth was registered in any of the regions nine villages.