Organizations call on Congress to increase support for rural small businesses

Small Towns
Farm and Food

Kalee Olson, policy associate, or Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012

LYONS, NEBRASKA – As work begins on the 2025 federal budget, the Center for Rural Affairs and 26 partner organizations from across the country are asking Congress for continued support of rural small businesses through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).

Their letter—sent Tuesday to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees—requests $8 million in funding for the program.

Supporters said RMAP provides much-needed support for the small businesses that strengthen our nation’s rural communities. Through the program, direct loans and grants are provided to Microentrepreneur Development Organizations (MDOs), such as the Center, who then offer technical assistance and distribute microloans of $50,000 or less.

“Rural entrepreneurs face the unique challenge of diminishing resources for loan capital and business training,” the letter said. “RMAP has proven its ability to fill this void in many communities”

Kalee Olson, senior policy associate with the Center, said the widespread use of RMAP demonstrates the program’s value and impact nationwide. Since the program was created in 2008, more than $40 million in grant funding and $103.6 million in loans have been distributed to MDOs in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, Olson said.

“Providing resources to rural entrepreneurs allows them to reinvigorate main streets and attract individuals and families to rural areas,” she said. “Increased funding will help ensure business training and capital are available to more microentrepreneurs as they establish and grow their businesses.”

RMAP is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development. For more information, visit