Community Entrepreneurial Climate: An Analysis of Small Business Owners Perspectives

Darryl Chatman, Ira Altman, Tom Johnson


This article examines the determinants of community entrepreneurial climate from the perspectives of small business owners. Data were collected from a survey of 158 small business owners in twelve rural Missouri communities in 2003 and 2004. The results indicate that small business owners’ perceptions of fair treatment within their community, the level of local patronage, and the availability of business networks and high-speed internet have significant positive effects on their perceptions of community entrepreneurial climate. Community quality of life, proximity to metro areas, local government support, and the availability of business services and financial resources showed no statistically significant effects. Furthermore, small business owners from smaller communities were more likely to perceive their communities as having a low entrepreneurial climate.

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.