SmallBizSurvival.com and SaveYour.Town joined forces to conduct an international rural survey of 250 rural people during 2017. Some of the results don’t match up with the usual stories we hear about rural.
A few surprising results:
- More people mentioned a lack of workers than mentioned a lack of jobs
- More people were interested in maker trends than manufacturing trends
- More people focused on downtown issues than on recruiting outside businesses
Media stories about rural and small towns tend to focus on some well-worn themes that don’t match up to our survey results:
- Media often descend on a town when it suffers the loss of a major employer or other serious blow, but this was the least commonly-chosen rural challenge
- Crisis-driven stories focus on the loss of manufacturing jobs and portray a desire for the return of factories to rural areas, but people in our survey didn’t mention it and focused instead on local entrepreneurs
- Stories about the lack of small business lending say it’s holding back local business, but more rural people cited the lack of usable buildings than the lack of loans
While the survey was designed to identify rural challenges, people also answered with opportunities or solutions. Some included:
- Tourism trends to take advantage of
- Opportunity to provide accommodations to visitors or housing to residents
- Opportunity to provide family-friendly activities
Go to the Survey Results page for the full report, and while you’re there you can also sign up for action steps you can take based on the survey results.
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.