Survey of Rural Challenges 2019 results

Survey of Rural Challenges 2019 Outcomes

What Little City people see as their Greatest challenges

And what subjects rural people most desire help with

Wouldn’Can it be good if the men and women who say they wish to assist rural people would listen to rural people’s own struggles?! That’s why we made this poll!

We utilize the outcomes to make practical steps that assist you form a better future for your city. Your answers also get shared to other people working with rural communities throughout posts and media reports.

Using these survey results, we developed a free video of action steps you can take to shape the future of your town or the cities you function.

Get the Action Steps Video

The poll asks rural folks what challenges they want help with and what actions they’re taking to address them. The results do not match the usual topics in media policy and coverage dialog around rural areas.

  • Are rural individuals focused on well-publicized disasters like opioid addiction or poverty? No, additional challenges were chosen a whole lot more frequently. Crime and medication abuse rated in the bottom five of their normal options. In their own words, fewer than a dozen individuals each mentioned drug poverty or abuse. Three times as most mentioned angry or negative people as a leading challenge they would like assistance with. 
  • Are many rural communities ravaged by missing factories, shutting mines or damaging all-natural disasters?  No, “our town has suffered a terrible blow” remains one of the very preferred options on all 3 rounds of this poll in 2015, 2017 and 2019. 
  • Is the deficiency of small business lending a large challenge in tiny cities? Needing a business loan didn’t made it to the list of top five challenges selected.  More than double as many individuals selected the absence of good workers because of challenge.  

Top five issues in the community-wide degree this season are extremely much like the outcomes in 2017 and 2015.

  1. Losing young folks
  2. Downtown is dead
  3. Not enough great home
  4. Need brand new residents
  5. No one stores in the city

“Losing young people” and “Downtown is dead” have dominated the top 2 places in 2015, 2017 and 2019. “Not enough good housing” is a new entry which was not included as an option from the 2017 or 2015 surveys. “No one shops in town” also appears at the top 5 in all 3 rounds of this survey.

Here is a chart of all of the choices provided on the 2019 questionnaire rated in order of how frequently people picked them. (Click to see it larger)

Almost 1/2 of the surveyed identified themselves as current or potential small business owners. Here would be the top five hurdles they picked.

  1. Can’t locate great workers
  2. Marketing is not working
  3. People purchase from online competitions
  4. Tried opening later hours without success
  5. Need a business thought

A fresh option, “Can’t find good employees” was selected by over 50percent of respondents which makes it the number one challenge. It substituted a former option, “Need help but cannot hire,” at the top .

“Marketing isn’t working” was always at the next place, also “Opening later hours without success” stays in the top 5 to three polls. Online contest moved up to 3rd this season out of 6th in 2017 and 2015. Needing a business idea returned into the top 5 after falling to 9th in 2017.

Here is a chart of all of the choices provided on the 2019 questionnaire rated in order of how frequently people picked them. (Click to see it larger)

Which of these rural business challenges would you be excited if we talked about them? Choose as many as you would be thrilled to learn more about. Responses: Can't find good employees 53%. Marketing isn't working 31%. Online competitors 25%. Later hours not working 23%. Need a business idea 23%. Can't get a loan 22%. Need a usable building 22%. Need to sell business 18%. Juggling multiple businesses 16%. Hate business plans 14%. Hate doing accounting 13%.

A new question in 2019 asked folks what their community want to address their own challenges. The four options ranked in this arrangement.

  1. Traditional economic growth groups
  2. Informal idea copying
  3. Formal applications
  4. Other things

Traditional economic growth was the apparent top option with over 75 percent, and also casual copying of thoughts was selected at over 50percent of their responses.

When provided the chance to discuss more in their own words regarding struggles, what’s working, or anything else, 389 individuals shared more. Their answers can be grouped into those general classes with both negative and positive themed answers.

  1. Government, leadership or officials
  2. Business and market problems
  3. Community teamwork, volunteers and participation
  4. Non-government applications for example Main Street, Chamber of Commerce and others
  5. Workforce, workers or tasks

Here are a few of the individual answers.

  • Team work is what’s working and functioning best. What is not functioning is believing the money pool is your [economic development group] or Chamber [of Commerce]
  • There is a group of us who are prepared to attempt new things and searching for ideas. There are a few in town that are stuck at the old method of doing things. We are beginning small and I feel that the large will come. With every thought, it feels like more thoughts are beginning to occur.
  • The empty construction tour functioned nicely. We will soon be planning another one for your own Fall. Getting everyone working together isn’t working well.
  • After shedding some significant companies, some individuals have started businesses, also some spin-offs related to staying businesses. Landing that the “big one”, external company, hasn’t been successful.
  • A group of innovative minded “young” (30 into 55) leaders have united together to celebrate what’s about our community and also to create some interesting things occur.

Each neighborhood differs, and various people from inside one community is able to observe the challenges and opportunities otherwise.

How varied were survey respondents? An open-ended query encouraged people to state if there were ways they believed themselves varied, and 278 individuals decided to reply. Some replied with their personal diversity, but most replied about their neighborhood at large.

More ranked their communities as varied than not

Over fifty percent more people said their communities were more varied compared to the number of folks who stated their communities weren’t varied. Over 70 individuals said their neighborhood was varied today or increasingly varied. Another 43 reacted with ordinary or not certain; and 42 stated not varied or not appropriate.

The top 5 common descriptive responses were grouped to those demanding classes.

  1. Color, race, ethnicity or cultural source
  2. Age
  3. Education, abilities or technologies usage
  4. Businesses, professions or trade
  5. Cultures, thoughts and ways of thinking

The group of civilizations and ways of thinking includes common view divides such as fresh vs. longtime residents. town, city/urban vs. rural/small city, and total time vs. part time residents.

Gender range and LGBTQIA diversity comprised in over 50 of their responses. Diversity in earnings or class, handicap, household cosmetics, religion, political perspectives and army service were also mentioned.

Deb Brown and Becky McCray, co-founders of Save Your dot Town

Using these survey results, Becky McCray and Deb Brown developed a particular video of action steps you can take to shape the future of your town or the cities you function. There is no charge.

Get the Action Steps Video


Press and Media Information

You’ll find more info about the methodology, discussing points for networking and links to previous surveys in our Survey page.

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About Becky McCray

Becky began Small Biz Survival in 2006 to discuss rural business and community construction stories and thoughts with other small city business people. She and her husband have a tiny cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an worldwide speaker on small business and rural subjects.

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  • Survey of Rural Challenges 2019 outcomes – December 5, 2019
  • Shop Indie Local adds a fresh twist to exhausted Buy Local campaigns November 11, 2019
  • Better entrepreneur coaching for smaller cities – November 4, 2019
  • Culture is the junction of people and location – August 19, 2019
  • For simpler social media marketing, fill in the blank – August 5, 2019
  • Need a downtown business idea? Try a Cookie Crawl – July 22, 2019
  • Need financing for your next step in your business? – July 17, 2019
  • Youth business thought: phone clinics – July 8, 2019
  • Chain connection is anyplace in downtowns. Here’s the way to dress this up. – June 30, 2019


Beth Sanders

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