Last month I looked at four factors that make rural communities able to thrive despite circumstances against them. They are availability of good paying jobs, access to critical services, strong leadership, and a healthy natural environment.
The model that I want to start with in this discussion of communities fighting to keep these four areas intact is Hartington, Nebraska.
First, Hartington has established itself as a regional hub for industry, professional, agricultural, and retail services. In terms of retail sales, the measure most often used is called the “pull factor.” This refers to the community’s ability to retain those dollars that are earned within the community.