ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Things to look for in 2009 – Rural Small Business

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Predictions here that 2009 might be a bigger year than expected for rural communities.  Some highlights –

3. Shop Local – High gas prices were the catalyst; lingering interest in shopping locally is one result. Combine that with the falling economy, and we’re seeing more small towns start or revive hometown shopping promotions. Searches on Small Biz Survival for “shop local” have quadrupled over the last four months.

5. New Residents – Small towns will continue to see an influx of residents, escaping from metro areas. If the economy slides seriously downhill, I expect this to accelerate.

7. Regional Tourism – Instead of flying out to the tropics, many city residents will be looking for chances to travel regionally. Expect to see more family driving tours. The big beneficiaries will be the businesses that offer a slice of rural life, or a connection to the culture. This can be anything from traditional food making, old time crafts, old-fashioned farms, and even modern but rustic wineries.

8. Wildlife Assets – 87.5 million U.S. residents fished, hunted, or watched wildlife in 2006, up from 82 million in 2001, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All together, they spent $122 million, primarily in rural areas where you find most of the wildlife. Small town businesses have opportunities to provide the individuals with more services, not only lodging and food, but also equipment, and even other activities for families.

This Friday we’ll have results of the joint Ord Area Chamber & Valley County Economic Development Board strategic planning meeting posted.  There you’ll see what community stakeholders see as priorities for 2009, and the stark similarities with what many experts are saying about rural development.  You’ll have a place to comment on the desired action as well.

The four opportunities for rural communities above has a role here – they all agree with what the preliminary board results are saying.  2009 should be fun.


2 Responses

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  1. Agreed. Local is the way to go.


    January 21, 2009 at 7:07 am

  2. Great news. P.S. I “tweeted” Sunshine Pumpers today. http://twitter.com/NebraskaTourism

    Sarah Baker

    January 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm

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