Rural Democracy Initiative's 2023 Rural Action Policy Report contains input from approximately 50 organizations advocating for improvements in rural communities. The collection makes recommendations to help small towns thrive. In rural Georgia, for instance, New Georgia Project's Brandon Byrd said one challenge that remains prominent is the lack of healthcare infrastructure.

"There were multiple towns when I was growing up, where our hospital was on the verge of closing," he said to Public News Service. "And then, learning more about economic development and seeing how losing your hospital could affect different businesses and industries wanting to come into your town. Because it's just a testament to, 'The health care in your area isn't -- that means your infrastructure isn't -- where it's supposed to be.'"