WASHINGTON, June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees provide 42% of all jobs in rural America, according to a meta-analysis by SCOREU.S. Small Business Mentor and U.S. Small Business Administration Resource Partner.
Small businesses contribute significantly to the health of rural economies but face a number of challenges, according to SCORE’s analysis, including:
- Rural America recently faced its first population decline in a decade, by nearly 300,000 people between 2010 and 2020. For small business owners, the population decline means fewer customers and employees, resulting in lower profits and labor problems.
- Rural entrepreneurs also struggle to obtain venture capital, angel investments and other financing. Nearly 60 percent of rural communities rely on small banks and credit unions as their primary source of financing, but 89 percent of the counties deeply affected by bank closures were in nonmetropolitan areas. Additionally, only 0.7% of angel dollars go to rural small businesses.
- Depending on income, 20-30% of non-metropolitan households do not have high-speed internet access, impacting new business creation in rural markets.
“The path to entrepreneurship may be more difficult for some,” said the SCORE CEO. Brigitte Weston. “We know that resources differ from community to community, which is why we want entrepreneurs in rural and non-metro areas to know they are not alone. We’re here to help small rural businesses receive the support and advice they need to get started. and grow.”
SCORE supports rural small business owners
SCORE customers, Dave and Susan Sperstadco-owners of Touright Bicycle in Little Falls, Minnesota., live and work in a rural and economically disadvantaged area of the state, which can be a challenge for anyone looking to start a business. “Having SCORE here and available to help us so we don’t have to close the store, it levels the playing field for people like us,” says Dave. Touright Bike Shop is now a thriving and vibrant part of their community.
Jim Mansfieldowner of Four Hills Farm at Versailles, Ky., struggled to grow her business in her rural community early in her entrepreneurial journey and reached out to SCORE for help. “Farming is a business, and SCORE has been a great help with everything from accounting to marketing, business growth and employee management,” says he. “(Our SCORE mentor) Kurt has been invaluable. He has helped us avoid major mistakes and taught us how to keep excellent records to focus on results. He holds us accountable for the “shoulds” that we We may have neglected it at first, but it always helps our business grow.”
How SCORE can help you
SCORE supports all entrepreneurs on their small business journey. There are a variety of tools for people looking to start or grow their business, including 24/7 expert mentorship, resilience training, and on-demand educational resources. Visit SCORE.org to learn more.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. SCORE’s 10,000 volunteers provide free mentoring, workshops and educational services to more than 1,500 communities across the country, creating 25,084 new businesses and 71,475 non-ownership jobs in 2021 alone. Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Twitter And LinkedIn.
Funded (in part) through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.