Small Towns News

Top 5 of 2019: Leadership training offers tools to overcome health challenges in Native communities

The year in review countdown continues with a blog featuring one of our own staff members and the steps she is taking to be an even better leader in her community. Coming in at number four is a blog on Lizzie Swalley's efforts to connect with Tribal programs within her community of Santee to work on food access, food sovereignty, and traditional food efforts. The piece is written by Liz Daehnke, communications consultant, and was posted in January.

Food + Art Conference feeds eager entrepreneurs’ business needs

Small food and arts-based businesses were offered tools needed to be successful in growing their businesses at the first-ever Food + Art Conference in Pender, Nebraska. The event was hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in October.

In the heart of rural America, attendees were able to gain access to resources usually only found at larger conferences in urban areas.

From the executive director: connecting housing and economic development 

The Center has long focused on strategies to support economic vitality for small communities. Our work to assist small businesses, develop value-added agriculture, and improve policy all focus on creating widespread opportunity for people who live in rural areas.

Increasingly, we see small town housing as an economic development issue. While adequate and affordable housing is a quality of life issue, it also plays an important role in economic development. A lack of local housing can undercut successful business start-up or business growth strategies.

Next step for rural broadband

As the 2020 session of the Nebraska Legislature approaches, the state’s rural broadband policy is ripe for new development.

Rural broadband in Nebraska has seen two big changes in recent months, first when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced its plan for a new broadband mapping requirement. Also, Nebraska’s Rural Broadband Task Force finished its report, which recommends policy change to strengthen rural broadband.

Shop local this holiday season

Shopping at a locally-owned and operated business is truly a unique experience.

The atmosphere surrounds you as soon as you step out of your car. Sometimes, holiday music flows through the main thoroughfares of your small town. Almost always, twinkling snowflakes line the streets.

Large storefront windows decorated for the season beam welcoming lights onto the sidewalk. These windows offer a snapshot of what you can expect when you enter the small business.

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