For rural Illinois, the prescription is promotion. The Governor’s Rural Affairs Council Wednesday said the main message from surveys, research, and good old-fashioned listening is that people in rural Illinois want access to government services – but don’t even know they’re already available. Those services would mainly be in the area of help for small business.
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“It’s kind of a low-hanging fruit kind of initiative,”council member Chris Merrett said of the need for more marketing of state services. “I think it’s a real, credible strategy, because we do know that there are already a set of really great programs.” Merrett is director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.