Current Initiatives Service Members Organizational Partners Community Partners

Resilience is generally framed as a reaction to adversity, the ability to respond, recover, and thrive. The Appalachian region in which we live exhibits resilience in many ways, with strong, creative people developing solutions that work in our region, despite a long history of boom and bust economic activity that failed to build wealth. Rural Action’s work in local communities centers around building capacity and a sense of teamwork to respond to opportunities for economic growth. We also see resilience as a means to anticipate and prepare for the future, particularly in light of the impacts of climate change and in-migration of people from coastal areas. Our Resilient Communities team works with communities to strengthen their economic and social health. Ecotourism, outdoor and cultural recreation, creative placemaking, and entrepreneurial support provide real opportunities for local communities to thrive. Our region is filled with places where people want to live, visit, or start a business, and Rural Action Resilient Communities wants to make it easier for that to happen.

Current Initiatives

Connecting Communities to Resources

Kiva Loans Rural Action is a Trustee with Kiva, a lender that uses crowd-sourcing to raise funds for loans up to $15,000 at 0% interest. Learn about how these loans work and and stories of local entrepreneurs that successfully fundraised using Kiva.

Shawnee Farmers Market With support of the USDA Farm Market Promotion Program, this project collaboration with ACEnet, the Village of Shawnee, SPICE will expand the Shawnee Farmers Market and increase access to local foods in Southern Perry County.

High School Internships & Job Shadowing Resilient Communities is collaborating with our Environmental Education program, Building Bridges to Careers, and school districts to provide area youth with employment and career skills experiences and support youth entrepreneurs through internships.

Outdoor Recreation Economy With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER program and in collaboration with the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia, ACEnet, Ohio’s Winding Road network, Resilient Communities is expanding our Trail Town development work. We assist businesses to expand their operations, launch new ventures, create stronger entrepreneur networks, and access capital more easily.

Training for Entrepreneurs and Community Leaders

How to Rural Airbnb If you have an extra room, cabin, or other lodging and want to earn extra income, this workshop will show you how to become a host using the Airbnb marketing and reservations platform.

Trail Town Assessment Trail based recreation makes up the top five most participated in outdoor recreation activities nationally. Through an assessment process developed by the Trail Town Program we help communities to better understand where they have strengths to attract and support trail visitors and where more can be done.

Trail Town Business Challenge A workshop series that provides business planning training and the opportunity to earn start-up capital for developed business plans and a commitment to launch the venture. The process includes a five-session training course and encourages participants to network as collaborating entrepreneurs to create a robust entrepreneur friendly support network. The first session was held in 2021.

National Service Members

Each year, Rural Action mobilizes more than 35 energetic and passionate people across the region to help small communities do big things through our Leadership Development and Service program. Our National Service members serve in communities through a yearlong commitment as part of our Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps, an AmeriCorps State/National program administered by Rural Action, or our through our AmeriCorps VISTA program, Rural Renewal. See members who are currently serving with Rural Action here or learn more about how we are growing local leaders here.

Organizational Partners

The Winding Road
CareSource Foundation
AIR Institute
Ohio Small Business Development Centers
LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network
Ohio CDC
Southern Perry Incubation Center for Entrepreneurs
Appalachian Regional Commission
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Explore Hocking Hills
Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce

Community Partners