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Things everyone can do to support rural economies

Efforts to revive small business sectors have helped countless communities regain their prosperity and sense of community pride. Those efforts have been wildly effective in many urban areas, and they also can help rural economies recover from the many challenges they've been confronting.

Reviving rural communities does more than help the people who call those communities home. Thriving rural communities can ensure access to fresh foods for people in both rural and urban areas, thus keeping costs down. Thriving rural communities also can reduce reliance on government assistance programs. With access to well-paying jobs, more people in rural communities can live above the poverty line.

Attempts to revive rural economies will require a collective effort on the part of people from all walks of life, and there's much everyone can do to pitch in.

Buy products from local farms. When buying foods, looking for products from local farms and/or domestic farms can benefit consumers in various ways. Many individuals find locally grown foods more flavourful than products imported from foreign countries. And buying local, whether the farm is on the outskirts of the metropolitan area you call home or elsewhere in your own country, provides some much-needed economic stimulation to rural communities.

Look beyond foods. Rural communities produce more than food. Soaps, lotions, candles, decorative items, and other products people use everyday are produced on farms and within rural communities. Choosing these products over mass-produced alternatives made in other countries or in places where profits are less likely to be funnelled back into local communities is a great way to support rural economies.

Support legislation that benefits rural economies. One of the most effective ways to lend a hand to rural economies is to support legislation that can help them. There are many reasons why rural economies have fallen on hard times, and a lack of digital infrastructure has undoubtedly contributed to those struggles. All businesses benefit from a strong online presence, and communities can attract more remote workers if their digital infrastructure is improved. Those improvements are often the subject of local, state and even federal legislation. Individuals who want to help rural economies can urge their representatives to support legislation that can help rural communities build their digital infrastructure so it's on par with that which has already been established in more populous areas.

Rural economies are struggling. However, there's much everyone can do to pitch in and support efforts to revive rural communities.

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