Small Business News

Dear Congress: Please use the farm bill to invest in rural business

We are writing, as grantees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), to ask you to support $3 million in mandatory funding each year for RMAP in the farm bill. Your investments in rural small businesses today will continue to provide valuable benefits to rural communities across America for years to come.

Where have all the bankers gone?

The Center for Rural Affairs first examined consolidation in the banking industry in “Where Have All the Bankers Gone?”, a 1978 report. We have long understood the critical link between credit, who has access, who doesn’t, and how it shapes communities.

That’s why a recent report in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It detailed how banking in rural communities has fared in the years since the financial crisis. Small business lending in rural areas has dropped by half since 2004, accounting for less than 10 percent of total small business lending.

Staff spotlight: Laurie has big goals and high hopes for new position

Since 1990, the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP), has provided services to micro businesses throughout Nebraska. Because of financial assistance, and/or training provided through REAP, countless small businesses have grown and thrived, and just as many eager entrepreneurs have seen their dreams come true by opening their own businesses.

To lead a program which offers that much opportunity and gives so many people hope is a giant undertaking, but it’s one that Laurie Donnell is excited to begin.

Chatterbox flies again: from skies in WWII to a soaring business venture

Every small town has that one place locals love to hang out; that business where everyone gathers. There’s something about the comfort of being in a home away from home that draws people in and keeps them coming back for more.

In Tekamah, Nebraska, that business is Chatterbox Brews.

“When you walk out onto our back patio, you feel like you’re walking into someone’s backyard – it feels like home,” said Cindy Chatt, one of the owners of the business.

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