MDB Insight Blog

Three Ways to Foster Economic Growth in Rural Areas

Three Ways to Foster Economic Growth in Rural Areas

No matter your community’s unique business and industry, cultural assets and talent pool, there are three ways that you can maximize economic growth in rural areas. You can also showcase your region by putting key services and initiatives in place for the prosperity of all residents. 

Three Avenues to Spur Economic Growth in Rural Areas 

1. Diversify! 

Tap into the opportunities to diversify your local economy. For example, government grants are available for improved diversity in the form of green technology incentives and gender parity initiatives. 

Businesses that offer more environmentally friendly products or services could be helped with grants that support their innovative offerings. Women-led businesses could be similarly supported by grants and by your efforts to help them succeed in a rural economy. 

A diversified economy has a wider variety of goods and services, increasing the number and type of jobs available. Diverse economies also contain businesses and services of all types that attract visitors. 

2. Provide Improved Internet Access

Provide Improved Internet AccessYour region may be located in an area where high-speed internet and cell service are poor. Many rural regions have partnered with provincial and federal governments to bring better broadband and wireless service to the region to support economic growth in rural areas. 

For example, the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) has increased the quality and speed of broadband internet over the last 10 years. Now, the EORN has funding commitments from the government to begin work closing cell service and mobile internet gaps. The project will also bring thousands of jobs to the region, helping to boost the economy.

Would faster, reliable connectivity make a difference for your local businesses? Identifying their needs is key to ensuring that your efforts to support them are aimed at the right priorities. Getting together the economic development officers in your region and the surrounding areas to establish a network similar to EORN and service improvement plan is a massive undertaking, so be sure that this is a key priority.

3. Invest in a Business Retention and Expansion Initiative

Collect real-time data on what your local businesses need. You may find that they require better broadband access, but you might also find they have unexpected unmet needs. To get your BR+E effort approved and in action quickly, be sure to get key stakeholders on board by proving the worth of your economic growth efforts.

Using a platform like Triage BR+ETM is an option that will provide an actionable plan with a list of businesses that need your help in as little as 10 weeks. You can then respond to local businesses quickly to help them succeed. 

By strengthening business support services you can increase the likelihood of attracting new and diverse businesses to your region. Together, diversification and connectivity can combine to make your region more attractive for local businesses who need a rich talent pool to succeed. 

Save Time and Money on Your Next BR+E Initiative

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References:

https://www.eorn.ca/en/index.asp

https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/province-formalizes-eorn-funding

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