chapter  17
15 Pages

Rural Communities and Small Town Economic Development

ByGerald L. Gordon

Small towns in rural areas across the United States are dying out, the result of job losses, overseas competition, and the lure for young people of the activities of larger communities and major metropolitan areas. The economic development and sustainability of these small towns and rural communities is a concern for the national economy. Isolated small towns – those that are truly small, rural communities – may have nothing else on which to fall back when developing new directions for their economies. The commercial area of a rural community constitutes its downtown. The downtown is the entry-way to a small town; it is what people see when they arrive and it is sometimes what they come to see. Many small, rural communities are fortunate to be close enough to a natural asset that can be developed or used as a tourism or other type of economic development marketing strategy.