rural

Rural Innovation Initiative working to bridge opportunity gap

Rural communities across the country have the opportunity to build capacity to create innovation-based jobs with a new initiative spearheaded by the Center on Rural Innovation. Communities that are already working on building new entrepreneurship capacity will receive on-site technical assistance as they execute an innovation hub strategy. Those communities will need to secure live-work space for the hub, raise up to $500,000 in operating funding and apply for matching funds at the end of Q1 2019.

Educational attainment helps drive community prosperity

Despite an uneven economic recovery, fewer Americans are living in distressed communities and more are living in prosperous ones, according to a recent report from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a Washington, D.C.-based policy and advocacy organization. Comprised of seven factors measuring socioeconomic health, the Distressed Community Index (DCI) divides the country’s zip codes (communities) into five quintiles — prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at-risk, and distressed — and tells the story of the country’s economic health across two time periods, the recession years of 2007 to 2011 and the recovery years of 2012 to 2016. EIG finds that the employment and business establishment growth during the economic recovery has been mostly limited to prosperous communities, where the population tends to be more educated and the housing vacancy rate may be lower.

Pilot program matches researchers with economic and community development issues

Vibrant Virginia (VV), a new program from Virginia Tech’s Office of Economic Development, is offering seed grants as a way to encourage faculty and graduate students to explore persistent public policy challenges spanning the state’s urban, suburban, and rural communities.

While rural entrepreneurship declines, rural businesses nearly match urban peers’ innovativeness

Two recent reports provide good news and bad news regarding innovation in America’s rural areas. Only one in six individuals living in rural areas was self-employed in 2016 — down from one in four in 1988, according to a new issue brief from the Small Business Administration (SBA). This represents a decline of nearly 20 percent over that span of time.

USDA reorganization of Rural Development concerns supporters

While U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that the Rural Development agency would be elevated under a reorganization plan because it would be placed under the direct oversight of the Secretary, not everyone is viewing the consolidation as an elevation.

Facing deindustrialization, smaller regions turn to innovation, workforce development

In a recent Digest article, SSTI covered research highlighting the oversized role that offshoring multinationals had in manufacturing employment decline from 1983 to 2011. During this time, deindustrialization and manufacturing unemployment had a profound impact on community approaches to economic development.

USDA Announces Launch of $100M Rural Business Investment Company

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of the McLarty Capital Partners’ Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) – a new private investment fund with the potential to inject $100 million into growth-oriented, small businesses across rural America. As the fifth RBIC to launch since 2014, McLarty Capital Partners’ RBIC is part of the Made in Rural America initiative, an ongoing effort by the Obama administration to attract private sector capital to investment opportunities in rural America and drive more economic growth in rural communities.

Recent Research: Broadband Availability and Rural Entrepreneurship

Because existing evidence points to the presence of broadband as having a positive connection to the economic health in rural areas, numerous states and the federal government have made increasing broadband in these places a top priority. In particular, many rural areas view broadband as an important tool in attracting entrepreneurs and other creative-class employees. Although this tactic is well intentioned, new research suggests that the association between expanded rural broadband availability and the proliferation of entrepreneurship and creative-class employees may not be as strong as one might think, and that the relationship may actually be negative.

Obama Administration Announces $66M via POWER Initiative

In partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the availability of $65.8 million in new funding through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.

Recent Research: Best Practices in Rural Economic Development

Across the globe, the proliferation of innovation-led economic development is typically viewed in an urban context. Despite cities receiving the bulk of the attention, researchers have begun to focus on how to leverage best practices in rural economic development. Just as is the case in nearly all economic development scenarios, practitioners and policymakers working in rural areas benefit from a better understanding of local strengths and opportunities, according to new research from the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - rural