A new Amazon-commissioned report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indicated that unlocking the digital potential of rural businesses across the U.S. could add over $140 billion to the domestic economy over the next three years.
The 37 million working-age adults and 18 million households residing in the rural U.S. account for almost 15% of the adult population but represent only 3.7% of total gross revenues in the U.S. economy, Amazon noted.
Despite some improvement in the adoption of digital tools by rural businesses over the past years, the research demonstrates that increased use of digital technology in rural America could help drive faster growth in the economy and create an additional 360,000 full-time jobs in communities outside urban metros. Greater adoption of digital technology over the next three years could increase rural business revenues by $84.5 billion each year, a 21% increase, with communities in the South realizing the greatest benefit.
Online tools and technology have the highest potential impact on rural businesses generating revenue under $100,000, which could experience a sales growth surge over 28% in three years, according to the report.