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Economic Development Research on Small Towns


A small town is a town with a population of less than 25000 residents and is usually away from the suburban areas. Various researchers have conducted groundbreaking studies on the economic development of small towns and made various conclusions in their reports. Small towns are perceived to have the potential of growing into larger cities in case authorities and the residents living in such small towns effectively implement serious developmental issues. Therefore, researchers have continuously conducted studies to establish economic developments in small towns and the factors hindering such developments. Various conclusions have been drawn from the research conducted on the economic development in small towns. For instance, most small towns have tremendously grown in terms of infrastructure, manufacturing industries are rapidly coming up in small towns; there are improved living standards, there is provision of social amenities to residents; there is the emergence of financial institutions such as Banks, and use of improved technology in most sectors of the economy.

This paper summarizes the conclusions drawn from the study on the economic developments of small towns in the United States of America in the North Carolina state.

According to research, there has been a gradual improvement in the infrastructure of small towns. Governments and other economic improvement agencies have concentrated on improving roads and buildings in small towns. This can be witnessed in the small towns of America especially the North Carolina State. The towns include Columbus and Lattimore and they form a major part of the research. Bypasses to facilitate easier movement of populations from one place to another have been constructed in the small towns hence facilitating easier mobility of individuals. In addition, the improved infrastructure has facilitated easier movement of raw materials and final goods from one place to another hence improving the consumption levels. Consumers would easily access various commodities through the well-established transport networks in the small towns. The developments of roads have been of significant attraction to investors who wish to spread their investments. Through this attraction, the towns are boosted by the funds that are brought into the towns by investors. Columbus town has tremendously improved in its economic development due to the availability of efficient means of transport. The replacement of old buildings with modern buildings has been of great economic boost to the towns. Buildings have been effective in giving the towns a new shape of economic development.

There has been an emergence of various industries in small towns hence boosting their economic development. Research asserts that various industries such as manufacturing industries and service industries have been effective in promoting economic development in small towns. Industries are a key to prosperous economic growth in any place. The industries have been an essential economic resource to the towns because they also contribute to the community’s welfare. They have led to increased employment levels as individuals both skilled and unskilled have been hired to offer various services. High employment levels have ensured that poverty is eradicated gradually as people become more independent and contribute to the development if the economy through research. According to Gilliam (2009), the small town of Lattimore in North Carolina has been economically developing due to the emergence of industries that contribute to economic developments. Research points out that although the industries are fewer in number, they have been instrumental in contributing to the economic development of many small towns. Industries have ensured that the residents in the small towns are able to access the goods and services they require easily instead of moving to other places to look for the commodities. Service industries such as tourism in the town of Columbus have been on the rise due to the availability of attractive physical features, this has ensured that the town has a steady growth brought about by the contributions made by tourists.

The economic development of small towns has been seen in terms of improved provision of essential services such as sanitation, electricity, medical services, and education services. Research points out that the towns have developed economically, and essential services have been easily provided to the citizens. Economic development is seen in terms of improved services to citizens of the small towns. Governments in most countries have been struggling to deliver the best essential services to the residents hence boosting economic development. For instance, the small town of Lattimore has witnessed improved sanitation services and wider spread of electricity. According to research, these services are vital in promoting the level of economic development in the small towns. These services have led to the development of other sectors hence boosting economic development in the entire town. The research pointed out that the small towns have seen economic development in terms of attracting more individuals to come and reside in these areas. Population increase has been vital in contributing to the emergence of small towns into economic strong holds, and this would be effectively cited from the small town of Columbus in North Carolina. There has been effective provision of social amenities to citizens facilitating economic growth and development in the town. In addition, these services have been instrumental in attracting populations into the town hence improving the level of economic development.

Technology has been embraced in the small towns. Most of the activities in small towns are being conducted using new technology. Research points out that the technologies used in most of the activities are a major boost to economic development. Gilliam (2009) points out that efficiency has been gradually achieved in economic sectors due to the adoption of technology in various sectors. Through technology, most of the small towns have been effective in the production of goods and services. They are able to minimize the costs incurred in the provision of such services to the populations. The entire economy is also movable from one point to another hence boosting economic development. According to the research conclusions, these small towns have been gradually developing economically due to the use of technology in various aspects. Industries and even government institutions have been using technology in the provision of goods and services. In fact, large amounts of products are easily produced using technology and sold to other neighboring towns hence improving technology. Technology use has promoted economic development in the towns due to the improvement of the quality of commodities produced. For instance, the small town of Columbus has economically developed with the adoption of technology in most of its activities. The mobility of factors of production has been facilitated by the existence of technology.

There has been continuous emergence of financial institutions in the small towns’ hence boosting economic development. The town of Lattimore has grown because of the emergence of financial institutions such as Banks that ensure that there are credit facilities to residents have emerged hence ensuring that residents access the funds to engage in various developmental activities. Banks and other financial institutions are a great boost to the economy of any place. Thus, they have played a significant role in advising individuals on how to invest in various sectors of the economy. This has been effective in opening up many opportunities in the small towns hence boosting the levels of their economic development. Financial institutions in the town of Columbus have promoted the availability of funds for investment and other activities. This has been helpful in contributing to the economic development of the North Carolina state in general.

Research asserts that most governments envisage higher economic developments in the smaller towns, which would gradually develop into cities. Effective planning has been done in order to ensure that the economy is on an upward trend. Governments have been struggling to ensure that the small towns are always on an upward trend in terms of economic developments.

Research also points out that most of the economic development plans have been hampered due to poor planning. The government of the United States has hindered economic development due to outright neglect of small towns. Resources are dedicated to the development of other cities instead of concentrating on small towns. Thus, poor planning has been the major problem hampering economic development in small towns such as Columbus into major cities.

In conclusion, there have been tremendous economic developments in small towns. Small towns are defined as towns with populations below 25000 residents. Various researchers have been involved in studies relating to small towns and indicators of their economic growth. In a study that involved the study of the small towns of Columbus and Lattimore, various conclusions were drawn in relation to the economic development of most small towns. Small towns are economically developing as indicated by the continual adoption and application of technology in various sectors. This ensures that higher levels of efficiency are reached in the production of goods and services. There has been an emergence of industries in the small towns hence ensuring that there is continuous economic growth. These have provided goods and services to residents reducing the rates at which residents are to move from one place to another in search of essential commodities. Infrastructure has been improving hence leading the mobility of factors of production from one place to another. Factors of production boost economic development through effective production and delivery of services. The provision of essential services such as electricity and sanitation services has been a key contributor to the economic development of small towns all over the globe.