Survey of Rural Challenges news

What small town people see as their biggest challenges

And how COVID-19 has changed them

You might be tired of all the COVID-related surveys this year. This survey is different: we’ve been asking for and listening to your rural challenges since 2015.

We use the results to create practical steps that help you shape a better future for your town. Because you tell us what topics rural people most want help with, your responses also get shared out to others who work with rural communities and in articles and media stories.

Get updates on the Survey

Find out when results are available by joining our regular newsletter list. You’ll receive our weekly newsletters, notices about our videos for small towns and other updates. We will never sell or rent your name to anyone else because we wouldn’t like that either.

Press and Media Information

About the survey methodology

The survey will collect voluntary responses online in the fourth quarter of 2020. Respondents are expected to come from subscribers and visitors to SaveYour.Town and, media coverage and publicity from cooperating groups. Respondents will identify themselves as rural by participating, and a portion will identify themselves as business owners by responding to the business question. Participants are expected to include people from the USA, Canada, Australia and other international locations.

Previous survey results reports 2015, 2017, 2019

The 2019 survey results are available here.

The 2017 survey results are available here.

The 2015 survey results are available here.

Press release

Includes sample language and quotes for articles and social media updates

Media coverage





About SaveYour.Town

SaveYour.Town believes small towns can be saved by their own people using their existing assets. Deb Brown and Becky McCray joined forces in May 2015 to help small towns and rural communities thrive. They deliver speeches and presentations internationally, lead site visits and community brainstorming sessions, and create online videos and short courses of practical steps that can be put into action right away.

About Small Biz Survival publishes practical articles for rural small businesses. It was founded in January 2006 by Becky McCray from Oklahoma. Over the years, it has achieved top ranking among small business blogs on sites like Technorati, Invesp BlogRank and BizHumm, and it continues to appear on lists of top small business blogs. For her work as publisher, McCray has been named one of the Power Players in Technology Business Media and a Small Business Influencer Journalist four times.

About Becky McCray

Becky McCray is a lifelong small-town entrepreneur. As co-founder of Save Your.Town, she shares insights from her real-world experience as a business owner and cattle rancher. Throughout her career, rural has been the focus. She managed a retail store, served as city administrator and nonprofit executive, bought and sold antiques and taught classes in business and technology. Her practical perspective is featured at her highly-ranked website, Small Biz Survival, and in her award-winning book, Small Town Rules. She’s been featured and quoted in books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts and university publications. She makes her home base in Hopeton, Oklahoma, a community of 30 people. 

About Deb Brown

Deb Brown is a small town enthusiast and expert for small towns. Her practical approach for getting communities into action right away has been shared at national conferences, local visits, service organizations and everything in between. Her wealth of experience includes foreign casualty insurance underwriting, bartending, retail management, selling knives around the US, leading a chamber and working with small towns. Deb has lived in tiny towns, small towns, small cities and a major metro city. Yet, she’s come home to a small town and travels to many other rural communities to help. She collaborates with Becky McCray at and has her own business

Photos and Logos

Survey of Rural Challenges
The Survey of Rural Challenges is brought to you by Becky McCray and Deb Brown, and by and SaveYour.Town

Website and social media links

Survey Results and News Room:


LinkedIn: Becky McCrayDeb Brown

Twitter: @BeckyMcCray, @DebWorks, @SBSurvival@SaveYourTown

Instagram: @BeckyMcCray, @DebraInIowa, @SaveYourTown

Facebook: Small Biz SurvivalSaveYour.Town

For more info contact

Becky McCray


Deb Brown