How To Make Your Small-Town Small Business Successful

By Ann Marie van den Hurk
Lexington Herald-Leader

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) PR expert Ann Marie van den Hurk, principal of “Mind the Gap” Public Relations and author of “Social Media Crisis Communications” takes a look at what makes a small business in rural America successful.

Lexington Herald-Leader

A line in the famous song, “New York, New York” goes, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

But is that really true?

Running a small business anywhere, urban, rural and suburban, has its challenges. But starting and running a small business in rural America can be the hardest.

The recent recessions hit small business and rural America hard. However, according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 62 percent of net new jobs in the United States. And microbusiness, those small businesses with less than 50 employees, have contributed the most job growth.

Instead of focusing on the challenges, let’s look at how small businesses in rural America are making it work.

According to the Center of Rural Affairs, the most effective development strategy for rural communities is small entrepreneurship, which is locally owned and operated small businesses.

Locally owned and operated small businesses are making the difference in rural communities, providing needed products and services. The restaurant and hospitality industries are often the most difficult to be successful with, with the sobering statistic that 60 percent do not make it past the first year.

So how can you be successful in rural America?

NN Burger based in Kilmarnock and Tappahannock, Va., is one such business making a difference in rural America. NN covers three rural counties in eastern Virginia from the geographic perspective. However, their customers come from all over the mid-Atlantic and beyond.

NN Burger started in the winter 2013 when two cousins and long-time restaurateurs, Jay Wolfson and Steven Sponder, decided to open a burger joint serving craft burgers and beer with live music. They wanted to create a place that was fun while providing great food. NN Burger started out with one location then opened a second location with more on the way.

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