Herndon, Virginia – Rural SMEs face greater challenges to economic recovery and are more optimistic about the future than non-rural SMEs, according to new survey data from US small business leader SCORE not.
SCORE’s Fall 2022 Megaphone of Main Street: The Small Business Rural/Urban Divide surveyed more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and found that more than 75% of small businesses surveyed have returned to pre-pandemic levels or better. discovered. Rural entrepreneurs say they feel moderately or very negatively about the economy and its impact on their businesses.
Customer acquisition remains a challenge for all small businesses, Inflation, the economy as a whole, and cash flow are the biggest concerns. Rural entrepreneurs in particular are finding it harder due to inflation and supply chain disruptions.
Specifically, rural small business owners are:
- 30.2% more likely than non-rural small business owners to cite inflation as one of their top three business concerns
- 32.4% more likely to cite supply chain disruptions compared to their non-rural peers.
Digging deeper, rural small businesses say their cash flow is constrained by rising costs of utilities, supplies, labor, and capital.
Rural Entrepreneurs are:
- 9.3% more likely than non-rural SMEs to report higher costs of doing business
- 24.5% more likely to report higher vendor prices compared to non-local entrepreneurs.
Twice as many rural entrepreneurs as non-rural entrepreneurs say their area lacks local banks seeking financing, and they lack the ability to secure financing. more restricted.
What do rural entrepreneurs need to overcome these barriers?
Both rural and non-rural SMEs agree that better access to capital will be most helpful in the coming year, followed by loan forgiveness or debt forgiveness. Interestingly, rural firms were 24.5% more likely than non-rural firms to seek support in the form of infrastructure improvements.
SCORE Bozeman Chair Rick Sanders acknowledges that rural entrepreneurs face unique challenges. Thankfully, SCORE is here to connect the dots in rural communities across the country and provide the advice, tools and information that rural entrepreneurs really need. ”
SCORE supports local SMEs through challenges
“As a small rural business, there are days when everything seems like an obstacle to overcome. I can assure you that our business would not have grown without our mentors.”
“Our SCORE Mentors have given us the foundation to plan proactive business forecasts, make decisions before pressure, and continuously monitor the direction we are headed. All of which gives us the confidence to scale our business rapidly in a volatile economy,” adds Maslowski.
Currently, her business’s biggest concern is increasing product production costs, but thanks to SCORE, she has a strategy in place that includes calculations, creative solutions, and short- and long-term plans to get through this phase. She reports that there are
SCORE offers concrete solutions for rural entrepreneurs
In response to the challenges of rural SMEs, SCORE offers a centralized resource hub, SCORE for Rural Entrepreneurs. Here you can download the complete megaphone on Main Street: The Rural/Urban Divide of Small Business and the complete infographic.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Her 10,000 volunteers at SCORE provide free instruction, workshops and educational services to her more than 1,500 communities nationwide.
Visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.