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What is a Rural Business?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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A rural business is a company that is established outside a metropolitan, urban or suburban area. While businesses that focus on farming and farming supplies do represent a significant percentage of businesses operating in rural areas, the process of rural business development has led many companies to seek out locations in the countryside for the establishment of manufacturing and other kinds of facilities. In some aspects, the nature of rural business is just as varied as anything found in a larger town or small city.

In most nations, agricultural endeavors are still very much a part of the rural business scene. Along with family-owned farms that focus on the production of a limited range of crops, there are also farming corporations that produce many different types of crops, often using methods that make it possible to continue product all year long. To support these farming operations, the rural business picture normally includes establishments like farmers' exchanges where items such as seed, fertilizer, and other essentials can be purchased. Manufacturers of heavy farming equipment sometimes build plants in rural areas, and operate a retail center adjacent to the production area.

Financial organizations are also part of rural business operations in many areas. This includes banks and cooperative agencies that specifically cater to the needs of businesses that are connected with the agricultural industry. The presence of these financial institutions in and near rural areas makes it possible to obtain a range of services that are equal to anything offered by banks and lending companies found in metropolitan areas.

A number of support industries are also increasingly present in rural areas. Rural businesses such as community-owned hospitals provide healthcare without the need to travel long distances for surgery and the treatment of various ailments. Restaurants, both locally owned and parts of larger chains, allow residents of country communities to enjoy a variety of foods without the need to go into the city. Many retirement and assisted living facilities are located in the relative serenity of a rural area, providing residents with the peace and quiet that many crave while still providing access to a number of amenities.

While many think of rural areas as being backward and somewhat provincial, the truth is that rural business is more varied and complex today than at any time in the past. Thanks to modern technology and communication options, it is possible to establish a successful business in a rural area, and maintain that business for many years. For people who prefer to live and work in areas that are less congested and busy, looking into a rural business opportunity just makes sense.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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