As the United States continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, communities are considering new ways to improve their resilience to shocks and disruptions. The impacts of the pandemic have fallen unevenly along lines of race, class, gender, and disability. Rural communities in particular are uniquely vulnerable to the pandemic’s physical and economic impacts. Despite these challenges, rural areas also have many strong assets to build on in the pursuit of economic prosperity.
Practicing a wealth creation approach can help rural areas to be more resilient in the face of adversity. This brief explores a wealth creation approach to rural economic development by discussing the concept of community capitals, presenting a case study featuring a recreation and tourism value chain in New York’s Genesee Valley, and illustrating various concepts, including wealth creation principles, value chains, and how the wealth creation approach works on the ground.