Speaking Startup: Hunting and the rural entrepreneurs who rely on it

Hunting in the U.S. has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry. Hunting expenditures nationally exceeded $26 billion in 2016, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. That has implications for entrepreneurs in Missouri, where hunting-related businesses draw outsiders to spend time — and money — in rural communities.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. has seen “unprecedented spikes” in hunting and fishing, according to Matt Dunfee of the Wildlife Management Institute. However, that hasn’t necessarily translated into improved profits for local businesses.

The latest installment of our Outstate series on entrepreneurship in small-town Missouri took us to Macon, in the northeast corner of the state, where a wide array of businesses depend on hunting.

Plus, the mid-Missouri town of Eldon has been hit by hardship in back-to-back years. In the spring of 2019, a tornado ripped through the town of about 4,600. This year, Eldon finds itself grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We checked in with the publisher of the local newspaper to get a sense of how businesses in Eldon are faring.


The Speaking Startup podcast explores news and issues important to Missouri entrepreneurs. Find more Speaking Startup on our website or wherever you get podcasts.


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