Rural businesses fret about economy’s direction
Three out of four small-business owners in rural America say revenue is back to pre-pandemic levels or stronger than it was before the coronavirus hit, according to a newly released survey. Yet slightly more than half of rural entrepreneurs said they felt somewhat or extremely negative about the economy, said the "Megaphone of Main Street" report.
White House starts ‘rural infrastructure tour’ loaded with dollar signs
President Biden launched a "rural infrastructure tour" on Monday to deliver billions of dollars in funding for rural America with senior officials visiting 30 communities in April. "These generational infrastructure investments will provide rural communities across America affordable high-speed internet, clean drinking water, reliable electricity, better roads and bridges and good-paying jobs," said the president.
Covid-19 pandemic puts new strain on rural hospitals
More than 100 rural hospitals closed last year, evidence of the financial strain that smaller hospitals face day to day. "Often underfunded, understaffed and under-supplied, they’re now facing the looming impacts of Covid-19," said NBC News. (No paywall)
Famine threat could expand by 50 percent without global action
Famine often starts in rural areas and must be prevented in rural areas, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in a report on hunger in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, collectively one of the world's largest food crises in 70 years. Some 20 million people in the four nations are at risk of famine, a figure that could grow to 30 million if there is no additional action, said FAO.