A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services “information portal.” RAC helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.
Rural communities have many distinctive assets that can provide a basis for economic development activities. Natural amenities like mountains, rivers, forests, wildlife, and open space are appealing to people and present unique opportunities for rural development. Rural and agricultural communities have higher rates of self-employment, increasing opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures. However, taking advantage of these unique assets present challenges for rural communities that include:
* Low population density and lack of basic infrastructure, particularly transportation and communications systems, often hinder economic development efforts that could bring new jobs to rural areas.
* Rural communities are more likely to depend on a single employment sector. This dependence coupled with government agency job creation programs offer wages that tend to be lower and seasonal.
* Fewer people living and working in rural areas make it difficult to provide the necessary services that support work.
* Lower per capita incomes limit tax revenue in rural areas resulting in fewer resources for social services.
There are a variety of resources that can tie job creation to small business and economic development in rural communities.
For a list of these resources, click on this link: