Lucy Pearl  /   12/20/2022

How To Ethically Start A Commercial Development in Rural Communities

In recent years, the economic development of rural communities has become a hot topic. In many cases, commercial development can be a beneficial force in rural areas where there is a lack of infrastructure and job opportunities. But how do we ensure that commercial enterprises are introduced ethically? 

In this blog post, we provide an overview of how commercial development can be introduced into rural communities. Of course, in ways that respect and preserve the local area’s culture and environment. 

How commercial development affects rural communities

Commercial development brings with it the promise of increased economic activity. It creates jobs and enhances local services. However, commercial development taken too far can damage rural communities with fragile ecosystems or limited natural resources or habitats. 

That’s why it is vital to ensure commercial development projects adhere to the highest ethical standards from the earliest planning stages. This means considering the interests of those already in the community and those who will join it. It also involves considering zoning regulations, local ordinances, environmental and cultural impact assessments, and more. 

Considering these and other ethical issues during each step of commercial development planning is essential for anyone looking to bring retail spaces to fruition in a rural setting.

Rural communities are often seen as havens of stability. Untouched by commercial development and modern advances. It would be naïve to think that commercial products don’t affect these rural areas. They do bring both positives and negatives. 

Positive and Negative Effects on Rural Communities 


Commercial development may provide economic growth. It offers people much-needed job opportunities and an influx of money. 

Shopping centers provide convenient access to necessary goods and services. While commercial businesses like restaurants can draw in entertainment seekers. 

Commercial development can bring increased economic opportunities with job creation and infrastructure advancement. This is a positive effect that rural communities need. Many are still coping with poverty levels that can hinder long-term potential. 

Additionally, businesses bring increased economic activity and employment opportunities to an area that is often missing due to its remote locations. New companies also bring more people into the community. They bring different perspectives and ideas on how to improve the quality of life for locals. 


Commercial development increases traffic congestion and demand for public services like schools or water supplies. It also tends to drive prices up with the introduction of competition. 

Commercial development can lead to competition in their local markets, potentially driving many businesses out of business due to unfair competition. 

With increased tourism comes more significant pressures on local infrastructure. Roads, parking lots, and waste disposal systems may only be able to handle large influxes of visitors with substantial investment from developers.

In addition, commercial development increases property values and tax rates. These higher costs can create issues for those who want to move into the area and those who are already living there.

Furthermore, new businesses often disrupt existing social networks and displace traditional methods of subsistence living (such as farming or fishing). This can cause resentment among locals if not appropriately handled.

How To Maintain The Rural Character Of The Community When Developing Commercially 

When introducing commercial businesses into a rural community, it’s essential to ensure that local traditions are respected and preserved while allowing economic growth. 

One way this can be done is by working directly with local stakeholders when planning projects so their input is considered during all stages of development. 

Prioritize Local Businesses and Services. When it comes to commerce, local businesses should be prioritized over larger corporate entities. Promoting local services and products will help ensure that your town retains its unique charm and atmosphere rather than blending in with other commercialized communities. 

Encourage Sustainable Development. Sustainable development should be at the forefront of any commercial development project in a rural area. This includes utilizing renewable resources such as solar energy and wind power, minimizing environmental impacts, and encouraging green practices like recycling and composting. 

Additionally, developers should consider investing in local education or training programs as part of their business plans, so residents can access better job opportunities within their communities rather than having to move away for work elsewhere. 

Finally, developers should consider investing in renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power instead of relying on traditional forms like coal or oil; this helps reduce carbon emissions while still providing energy needs for the business.  

The Benefits of Developing Rural Areas 

Commercial development can bring much-needed jobs and infrastructure to rural communities historically neglected by governments and corporations. 

The right approach can also help preserve the local culture and environment by providing resources for conservation efforts, such as protection for endangered species or habitat restoration projects. 

Development in rural areas can bring a multitude of benefits to the site. It can increase job and business opportunities which will stimulate economic growth. 

Recently developed transportation, communication, and energy networks increase access to essential services that will improve many people’s quality of life. These advancements lead to an increase in land value as well, giving property owners financial leeway and creating more attractive investment opportunities. This increase in development also encourages small businesses to invest in the area, providing initiative for growth. 

Beyond these modern advances, rural development brings about environmental benefits, too; encouraging efforts such as tree planting, water conservation, and waste management helps protect natural landscapes so that everyone can reap their benefits. 

Additionally, businesses can create public spaces that promote residents’ social interaction, which helps strengthen community bonds.       

 It can be done!

Commercial development in rural areas has immense potential when done correctly; it brings jobs and resources that strengthen economies while preserving local cultures through cultural sensitivity initiatives from developers themselves. 

Developers must work closely with local stakeholders when starting projects, so their input is taken into account throughout every step of the process – from selecting locations to setting up renewable energy sources – ensuring that any changes made benefit both parties involved without disrupting existing social networks or displacing traditional methods of subsistence living. 

This guide provides an overview of how commercial enterprise can be introduced ethically into rural communities—we hope you found it helpful.

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