ICBA - Publications - Invigorating Rural Communities

Invigorating Rural Communities

WWR Article
April 2, 2002


To address the problem of declining populations in rural America, Stephen L. Kiser, a regional economist for the FDIC Division of Insurance and Research, discussed several ideas during ICBA's national convention in his presentation on new rural business models. Key attributes of successful communities include:

  • community change is accepted;
  • schools have a major focus on academics;
  • local communities have combined financial resources to support joint risk-taking;
  • people willing to invest financial surplus in local private enterprises;
  • tax programs for infrastructure;
  • able to add value to existing industries;
  • adequate social capital;
  • able to boost worker skills; and
  • community leadership is dispersed among residents

He emphasized several solutions including leveraging local amenities; enriching a region's supply of equity capital; tapping technologies suited to your region and investing in 21st century infrastructure. For a complete copy of the presentation contact Mark Scanlan, ICBA's director of agricultural finance: mark.scanlan@icba.org.