Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Publisher says rural areas in for 'sustainable boom' as long as lenders help entrepreneurs

Current economic news seems to be all doom and gloom, but one business expert sees good news for the long term in some rural areas. Rich Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes magazine, says the rural Midwest is facing a "sustainable boom" over the next 30 years, Deb Gau writes for The Independent in Marshall, Minn., pop. 13,000.

Speaking to a group of local business leaders at Southwest Minnesota State University, Karlgaard said lower costs of living, improved Internet technology and broadband access, and lower overhead will combine to make rural areas attractive to businesses looking for locations to start or grow. "In Silicon Valley where I live, the two big companies are Intel and Cisco," Karlgaard told his audience. "But they can't add a single job to the area, because of the cost of living."

But for the rural boom to be successful, Karlgaard said, businesses need backers willing to support them. "People here are conservative. They don't like to throw money around," he said. "It's a good thing, largely." But sometimes that conservatism can backfire, as when an aviation company, Cirrus Design, chose to settle in Duluth after being denied loans in Wisconsin and North Dakota. (Read more)

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