Small Business Policy News

Keep Your Eye on the Money

You can learn a lot about how or why certain decisions are made if you follow the money. For four decades the Center has been doing just that.

Ground-breaking Center for Rural Affairs reports from our early years were—at their core—an analysis of how money and investment trends were affecting small towns, family farmers, and rural people.

This included our early report, Who Will Sit Up with the Corporate Sow?, which documented the financing trends that underscored the initial industrialization of hog farming in this country.

Nebraska Tax Committee Update

This fall the Tax Modernization Committee, a group of Nebraska state senators charged with evaluating our state's tax system, held public hearings across the state.  We are happy to report that Center for Rural Affairs' supporters testified at each of the hearings!

Most Nebraskans who testified at the hearings support property tax relief and a few support income tax cuts. The Tax Modernization Committee is meeting in executive session to discuss committee recommendations thoughout November.

Rep. Fortenberry Witnesses Benefit of USDA Small Business Program

During the August Congressional recess, Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) joined us on a tour of northeast Nebraska small businesses. Staff from the Northeast Nebraska Development District and USDA Rural Development also joined us.

We visited two small businesses to show the benefits of the USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). This program makes money available for rural small businesses through organizations like the Center for Rural Affairs and the development district.

High Poverty Rate Persists on the Great Plains

The Center’s newest report on the 2010 Census – Poverty on the Great Plains – shows poverty rates are generally higher in rural portions of the study area. The report looked at county-level poverty rates in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and portions of Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming.

Among states in the region, only Iowa’s rural counties had lower poverty rates than the other two county types.


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