LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to see updates to Nebraska’s Microenterprise Assistance Program among the budget recommendations released Friday by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee.
“For Nebraska’s small business owners, the past two years have been anything but easy,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs. “From forced closures to supply chain disruptions, entrepreneurs are seeing a new challenge at every turn. The Appropriations Committee has taken an important step in providing some much needed stability.”
This Microenterprise Assistance Program provides no-cost technical assistance to entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their business. It allows community lenders, like the Center for Rural Affairs, to help them learn the basics when it comes to budgeting, business expansion, and marketing.
The Appropriations Committee is recommending funding for this program be increased from $2 million to $3 million. Additionally, the size of loans community lenders can make would be capped at $150,000, which is up from $100,000.
“This increase would make a world of difference to main street business owners,” Hladik said. “Current limitations force them to seek secondary sources of funding to complete basic business loans. That additional paperwork and time has turned out to be a real hardship for some, especially for those working as a sole proprietor or juggling a second job.”
Updates to the program were offered as part of Legislative Bills 759 and 1090, introduced by Sen. Myron Dorn.
“We thank Sen. Dorn for bringing this important legislation forward and members of the Appropriations Committee for recognizing the need to support the state’s smallest businesses,” Hladik said. “We encourage members of the Legislature to continue this support with the passage of the state’s budget.”
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