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Producer service firms are growing rapidly in rural areas. Included in this expansion are “Lone Eagles”—export-oriented sole proprietors—and “High Fliers”—export-oriented companies with at least one employee. Interviews with 240 rural producer service firms located in a diverse sample of rural counties show that about 40 percent of the businesses are Lone Eagles or High Fliers. They are located in rural areas for quality-of-life reasons and are founded by highly educated people who have “niche” market business concepts that pay off in relatively high sales per worker. Face-to-face communication remains a very important means of delivering their services, but advanced information technologies are also important.


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