By Lacy Beasley, president of Retail Strategies
As cities reel from a public health crisis and civic unrest, rural and small town community leaders are the unspoken heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have historically learned how to thrive through fostering creative connections between limited resources and community needs. Years of practice navigating threats and finding solutions keeps rural America surviving, even amidst a pandemic.
Progressive rural community leaders developed a task force in March. They used frequent and clear communication on the local plan. Rural America applied well-practiced skills listening to citizens, health care professionals, business owners and educators to make decisions right for their own communities, regardless of national trends.
“Partnering with county officials and local governments, we were able to craft processes that allowed our local economy to thrive through responsible implementation of how individual industry sectors should operate during the ‘shutdown’ without negatively impacting the livelihood of revenue generators and goods producers.”John W. Feary, executive director at the Claremore Industrial & Economic Development Authority in Oklahoma.