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“Small businesses are the heart and soul of rural America.”

By | May 5, 2023

Small businesses play a vital role in contributing to the growth and development of rural America. They are the backbone of the local economy and provide job opportunities for many individuals. Without them, the rural landscape would be devoid of the unique, charming qualities that make it so special. Join me as we explore the significance of small businesses in rural communities and the impact they have on the people and places they serve.

Small Businesses: The Heart and Soul of Rural America


Small businesses have always played a crucial role in rural communities. They have provided a means of livelihood for local residents, creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth. In fact, statistics show that small businesses have driven two-thirds of net new jobs in the United States since the 1970s. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of small businesses in our society. As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, it’s essential to recognize the critical role that small businesses play in rural communities. In this article, we’re going to talk about how small businesses are the heart and soul of rural America.

The Importance of Small Businesses in Rural Communities

Small businesses are deeply intertwined with rural communities. They not only provide goods and services but also serve as community hubs, particularly in towns where there might be limited entertainment or social opportunities. Local businesses and their owners are often the ones tasked with supporting local events, fundraisers, and charities, which in turn strengthen the fabric of the community.

Moreover, small businesses in rural communities boost economic growth and job creation. They employ people who, in turn, support other local businesses by buying their goods and services. This means that every dollar spent in a local business can have a compounding effect on the local economy. Without the small businesses, rural communities would struggle with high unemployment rates and limited economic growth.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Small Business in Rural Communities

As part of the Small Business Week celebration, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks about the role of small businesses in rural communities. In the embedded video format from YouTube, Vilsack discusses how small businesses help rural communities to thrive.

The Focus on How Small Businesses Help Rural Communities to Thrive

In the video, Secretary Vilsack focuses on how small businesses help rural communities to thrive. He emphasizes the importance of supporting rural entrepreneurs and investing in rural communities to support small businesses. Vilsack notes that small businesses create jobs, bring economic growth, keep money in the local economy, and serve as anchors for the community.

The Importance of Investment in Rural Communities

Secretary Vilsack highlights the need to invest in rural communities. He notes that rural communities are often underserved and under-resourced, leading to a lack of investment. Because of this, small businesses in these areas can struggle to access resources like capital and skilled employees. Investing in rural communities means that small businesses can thrive, creating more jobs, and driving economic growth.

The Role of Small Businesses in Job Creation

The video highlights how small businesses are critical in creating jobs. Small businesses are job creators because they often employ people from within their community. In rural communities, where job opportunities may be limited, small businesses can be the difference between having a job and being unemployed. Furthermore, the jobs created by small businesses can be durable and long-lasting, providing steady employment to people in the local community.

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Supporting Agriculture Policymakers and Rural Entrepreneurs

The content of the video presentation is relevant to agriculture policymakers and rural entrepreneurs who seek to understand the importance of small businesses in creating jobs and driving economic growth. They can learn from Vilsack’s insights to figure out how to boost the development of small businesses in rural areas.


In conclusion, small businesses are the heart and soul of rural America. The role they play in rural communities goes beyond providing goods and services; they serve as the backbone of these areas’ economies. By creating jobs, providing local entertainment, and supporting local events, small businesses bring meaning to the rural way of life. Rural communities need to focus on investing in their small businesses to provide them access to capital, skilled labor, and necessary infrastructure. With the right support, small businesses in rural areas can continue to grow and thrive, enriching the lives of rural Americans.


  1. Why are small businesses essential to rural communities?
    Small businesses are critical in providing goods and services, creating jobs, and driving economic growth. They support the local economy by keeping money in the community and often serve as community anchors.

  2. What role do small businesses play in job creation in rural areas?
    Small businesses provide employment opportunities to people in rural communities, including those who may struggle to find work elsewhere. In doing so, they help to reduce unemployment rates and provide financial stability to residents.

  3. How can governments support small businesses in rural areas?
    Governments can support small businesses in rural areas by investing in infrastructure development, providing access to capital, and focusing on skills development to ensure the workforce can meet the needs of small businesses.

  4. Why do rural communities need to invest in small businesses?
    Investing in small businesses in rural areas can lead to job creation, economic growth, and social development. It can also keep money circulating within the local economy.

  5. How can rural entrepreneurs learn more about supporting small businesses?
    Rural entrepreneurs can learn more about supporting small businesses by engaging with experts in their field, attending community events, and tapping into resources provided by regional and national governments.