Sept. 12 (UPI) -- An Italian region is offering to pay more than $27,000 to people willing to relocate to one of its underpopulated villages and start a business.
The Molise region, which contains 106 villages that have a population under 2,000, announced it will pay $770 a month for up to three years to people willing to move to one of the locations and start a small business.
"I want my region to undergo a renaissance and avoid its authentic villages turning into ghost towns," regional Councilor Antonio Tedeschi, who proposed the scheme, told CNN. "We need to safeguard our roots."
Tedeschi said officials will begin accepting applications Sept. 16. He said young people and couples with children are especially encouraged to respond.
"The goal is to breathe new life and revamp the local economy," he said. "Newcomers are free to kick-start anything they please in order to get our financial support: a small inn, restaurant, bar, B&B, a tiny rural farm, artisan boutique, library or shop selling local gourmet excellences."