The Quarterly: Rural Industries Adapt to Coronavirus Reality

By Tanner Ehmke , Jeff Johnston , Dan Kowalski , Christina Pope and Teri Viswanath

July 9, 2020

Over the past four months, every rural industry has grappled with how to adjust its business to remain relevant and sustainable in the pandemic. Agricultural supply chains have been massively disrupted and lost revenue. Water and power suppliers have adapted as commercial and industrial customers went dark and demand shifted to residential customers. And the communications industry is seizing a moment when home broadband access has become vividly essential, to help expand access to everyone, everywhere.

2020 will go down as a year when many American businesses were shaken. But economic recovery may now favor rural communities for the first time in several years. Unlike previous recessions, low population density is now vital for economic resilience in the face of COVID-19.

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