Increasing happiness on Main Street

A morning business mixer hosted by Altavista on Track helps to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs.  Cinammon rolls also might increase happines.

A morning business mixer hosted by Altavista on Track helps to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs.

Even with the economic struggles of the recession, it turns out there are plenty of reasons to be happy, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, says one recent study.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is taking a 25-year look at our lives through an ongoing 100,000-person survey. The self-employed, citing the greater control of outcomes and the civic ties and responsibilities that come with owning a small business as part of their reward, scored the highest on an index of contentment, that includes emotional and physical health, job satisfaction, healthy behavior, access to basic needs and self-reports of overall life quality. Read coverage of the results  and interviews with subjects by the Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger.

What’s this mean for Main Street? Traditional commercial districts can provide access to resources, the support and civic network, and the physical space needed by start-up businesses.  Main Street organizations and communities themselves can take a lesson from this as well.  There are vast differences in the way organiziations, civic leaders, and volunteers go about their work.  And using the tools at hand to create a strong, healthy social fabric and a downtown that is in control of its destiny may be an avenue to a happier community overall.

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