Can entrepreneurs help boost small-town economies?
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While the national labor force grew nearly 10 percent from 1994to 2001, the work force in Hastings, Nebraska, (population 24,000)shrank by 3 percent. That's a situation common in many smalltowns and rural areas, especially in the Upper Midwest, wherepopulations are falling, jobs are evaporating and new businessesare weary about starting.
Allen Harpham founded Computer Consultants of Hastings Inc. in1992 and has watched smaller towns in his area depopulate asresidents move to cities or even out of state to find greateropportunity. "The communities with a thousand people or lessare struggling," says the employer of three.
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