Sisters Heather Coulombe and Sandee MacLean, who own the popular departmental store of Farmer’s daughter in Cape Breton island, Canada have been facing a peculiar problem. The population of their hometown has been dropping steadily and they were facing a severe shortage of staff. People were leaving the island in search of a better way of life and were not returning to the island. Faced with this difficult proposition, they came up with an ingenious idea to attract prospective employees.
The sisters put up an advertisement in Facebook – anybody who works with them for a minimum of 5 years gets 3 acres of land for free. Unbelievable!!! This is possible for them to offer as the sisters also own about 100 acres of land on the island. The motivation behind the scheme is to attract people who are committed towards working and living on the island forever, people who will mix with the community and become a part of it.
The sisters have received over a 1 lakh application so far and continue to receive a 1000 applications everyday. They have admitted 2 such families who have willingly relocated to Cape Breton island for good. The two families who shifted are happy about this career choice that they have made. They have been able to move away from the daily hustle and stress of a big city. Being able to raise a family in the countryside is something which everyone wants; being surrounded by thick dense trees, natural lakes and ponds, etc.
City councilmen are extremely happy about this out of the box solution that the sisters have come up with. They say that about 10 – 15% of the island’s population migrates to other big cities in search of greener pastures, but there is hardly anyone who comes to settle on their island. The island also has a rapidly ageing population that needs some source of income and support from the younger generations. Councilmen have said that their island needs more of such innovative ideas to bring people and jobs to Cape Breton island.