Small Business Policy

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities. We work for federal rural policy recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship as a rural development strategy and provide the resources necessary for rural communities to leverage the spirit, creativity and opportunities entrepreneurship creates.

Small scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. It can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment.

The importance of small entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business.

Small entrepreneurship is the one development strategy that consistently works in these communities. It is also the strategy that has the capacity to bring back young people – including those who earn a college degree. Our surveys of rural youth in northeast Nebraska found that half would like to one day own their own farm or business. That opportunity has the potential to draw them back to rural America.

Small business development helps rural people acquire assets and create wealth. That is essential. Asset and wealth-building through home ownership, business ownership and enhanced education lead to important long-term psychological and social effects that cannot be achieved by simply increasing income. Assets like businesses and houses bond one to a place and help to build sustainable communities. A commitment to rural asset- and wealth-building strategies can lead to stronger individuals, families, and communities.

Small Business Policy Notes

 

Remembering Jeff Reynolds

It is with a heavy heart that I write to share the news that Jeff Reynolds passed away unexpectedly on April 20, 2017. Jeff directed the Center's small business development program, the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project, or REAP, as it is widely known in Nebraska. He was a veteran staff member, having worked for the Center since 1994.

We will miss his dedication, his good spirit, his can-do attitude, and his uplifting presence.

We talk Farm Bill, crop insurance and more on Totally Rural Podcast

Totally Rural is a brand new podcast dedicated to increasing awareness and expanding the discussion of rural issues. The Center for Rural Affairs had the honor of appearing on its second podcast, talking about our organization, the 2018 Farm Bill, beginning farmers and more.

Brian Depew, executive director, and Anna Johnson, policy program associate, chatted with host Daisy Dyer Duerr, a former secondary school principal.

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities

Small scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. Owning one’s own business can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment.

The importance of entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business.