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 SmallBizSurvival.com, 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
Includes sample language and quotes for articles and social media updates
- Big Sky Economic Development, email newsletter, December 2020
- Inside Our Industry, Agracel, Inc., email newsletter, Issue 21, November 2020
- Small Biz Survival, How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here
- RuralRISE email update, October 2020
- Building Possibility, Survey of Rural Challenges 2020/21
- SaveYour.Town, How has 2020 changed the challenges rural small towns face? Tell us here
- SmallBusiness.com, Challenges Facing Rural and Small Town Businesses and Residents| 2020
- National Association of Development Organizations, email update January 2020
- BIGG Success podcast with Georgre Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster, Survey of Rural Challenges 2019
- Radically Rural email update, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, December 2019
- Alva Review-Courier, Oklahoma, December 22, 2019, What do rural people say are their biggest challenges?
- The Agurban, an Agracel Publication – #766 – Survey of Rural Challenges – 2019 Results
- Marketing Profs, Small Towns Present Big Opportunities for Marketers: Rural-Business Expert Becky McCray on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Interesting Survey of Rural Challenges: The results don’t match common stereotypes of the biggest challenges to growth rural communities face, Ann Handley
- Episode 34: Co-Creation in a Small Town – Rebecca Undem, December 2019
- New Zealand Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship, Charging ahead: NZIRE is on the move – and so is rural entrepreneurship
- Economic News – Easton Economic Development Corporation, December 2019
- Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Weekly Reader, January 2020, CWCOG Economic Development District
- Daily Yonder, ‘Speak Up, Rural America,’ Say Small-Town Business Consultants
- Rural Assembly, email update July 2019 Survey of Rural Challenges open through July 30
- The Results are in! SAVEYOUR.Town has released the results of its 2019 Survey of Rural Challenges. Western Nevada Development District
- The Rural Blog, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues Survey of Rural Challenges, open through July 30, helps widely scattered rural communities share ideas
- LISC Rural eNews, February 2020
- Rural Delivery, New York State Rural Housing Coalition, Inc, August 2019, Survey of Rural Challenges
- The Hoptown Chronicle (Kentucky) – Survey of Rural Challenges, open through July 30, lets people in small towns share ideas
- The Agurban, an Agracel Publication – Survey of Rural Challenges
- International Association of Community Development, “Survey of Rural Challenges 2017: What small town people in the US and Canada see as their biggest challenges and what topics they most want help with,” Practice Insights issue 10, March 2018
- Main Street America, State of Main 2018, The Future of Retail
- South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Saving Small Town South South Dakota
- The Rise of the Rural Millennial, Archinect
- Population Smallsville, Invision Magazine
- Renewed Interest: A Fresh Look at the Rural Church, Collaborative Development International, December 2017
- McClusky Gazette, North Dakota, Survey of Rural Challenges 2017
- EntreWorks – Challenges for Rural Retail
- Agurban – What rural people say they need
- Tourism Currents – Small town tourism challenges? Survey says…
- Small Biz Survival – What rural people say they need: the Survey of Rural Challenges
- Republic County Kansas Economic Development – What rural people say they need.
- NeedALittleAdvice – SaveYour.Town update
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
SmallBizSurvival.com 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 www.saveyour.town and has her own business www.BuildingPossibility.com.
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