LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs commends members of the Nebraska Legislature for their approval of several key pieces of legislation this session and thanks lawmakers for supporting industries that help make rural Nebraska strong.
“Nebraska lawmakers solidified the importance of small entrepreneurs, local meat processors, and family farms to our state’s economy and way of life,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center. “Their support preserves a healthy future for rural Nebraska.”
Hladik said the Legislature’s approval of $10 million for the Independent Processor Assistance Program (IPAP) will help processors keep up with an historic increase in demand for their services. Applicants will be eligible to receive financial assistance for buildings, equipment, technology, and workforce training. This approval follows up a commitment made in 2021 when legislation to establish IPAP was unanimously approved.
The Legislature also made needed changes to the Microenterprise Assistance Program to better support the small business entrepreneurs that are looking to grow. This includes increasing the annual funding made available to the program from $2 million to $3 million and raising existing limits on the size of loans community lenders can make from $100,000 to $150,000.
“These actions ensure the Center and other community lenders can continue working with entrepreneurs to start or grow their business,” Hladik said. “Increasing the loan size will make a world of difference to main street business owners by cutting down on paperwork and removing the need for many to seek secondary sources of funding to complete basic business loans.”
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