2/3 of rural businesses struggle with this

2/3 of rural businesses struggle with this

The most chosen small business challenge on our 2021 survey was …  workforce.  In 2019…also workforce.  In fact, workforce issues have always been in the top 5 challenges every time we’ve run our survey.  The percentage who pick the workforce as a challenge keeps going up, and in 2021 it was 64%. That’s almost 2/3rds. …

Help entrepreneurs get a fair chance: you don’t need all your ducks in a row

Help entrepreneurs get a fair chance: you don’t need all your ducks in a row

Old Way economic development assumes that it takes a lot of time, money and work just to get into business. Entrepreneurs need to have all their ducks in a row. They need to have great credit, deep pockets, good connections, be clean and sober, have strong business skills, no criminal record and a solid support…

“What do you want in the park?” is the wrong question

North Shore is a small town on the edge of the remote Salton Sea in California. It used to be a popular tourist destination. As the Salton Sea has grown more salty and polluted, tourism has gone away. About 3,500 people live there now and around 95% are Hispanic or Latino. Monique Lopez was one…

Role models for young rural entrepreneurs

When Deb and I were working on our Build Youth Entrepreneurship video, I saw way too many young entrepreneurship programs encouraging them to emulate business people I wouldn’t really want my niece or nephews to emulate. Shark Tanks. Pitch competitions. Billionaires as role models. The real models for young rural entrepreneurs are the successful business people…

There’s culture hidden in your rural community: how to find it

Several conversations lately have centered on whether rural communities have something you could call culture. And if we do, how would you describe it?  At the Dakota Resources virtual coffee we joined, Judy Larson said something like, “Our culture here in Lemmon affects how we do things, and new people have another culture.” You may…

What the headlines missed in Pew’s urban vs. rural study

Pew Research released a major rural vs urban study, and most of the positive trends for rural places are being overlooked in the headlines. I’m going to give you the bullet points here, and you can read more of my thoughts at SmallBizSurvival.com.  Way more people prefer rural than prefer urban, and the gap is growing. Way more…