Small Business Policy

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities. We work for federal rural policy recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship as a rural development strategy and provide the resources necessary for rural communities to leverage the spirit, creativity and opportunities entrepreneurship creates.

Small scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. It can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment.

The importance of small entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business.

Small entrepreneurship is the one development strategy that consistently works in these communities. It is also the strategy that has the capacity to bring back young people – including those who earn a college degree. Our surveys of rural youth in northeast Nebraska found that half would like to one day own their own farm or business. That opportunity has the potential to draw them back to rural America.

Small business development helps rural people acquire assets and create wealth. That is essential. Asset and wealth-building through home ownership, business ownership and enhanced education lead to important long-term psychological and social effects that cannot be achieved by simply increasing income. Assets like businesses and houses bond one to a place and help to build sustainable communities. A commitment to rural asset- and wealth-building strategies can lead to stronger individuals, families, and communities.

Small Business Policy Notes

 

Center for Rural Affairs September and October 2019 newsletter

My favorite part of this job isn’t the cake we get for birthdays, although that is a pretty neat perk.

I absolutely love visiting with you—our donors, event and program participants, small business loan recipients, board members, and everyday, rural people.

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Apoyo Político 101

Las políticas estatales y nacionales tienen un impacto directo en nuestras vidas diarias. Entonces, ¿qué puedo hacer yo para afectar la política? Nuestros representantes son elegidos para actuar en representación nuestra para darle forma a las políticas que nos afectan. Se puede interactuar con representantes electos a través de el apoyo político. Comprender el apoyo político y a lo que se refiere ser un defensor de las formulaciones​ de las políticas es muy clave en tener conocimiento de nuestro sistema político y hacer oír nuestras voces.

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RMAP has provided small business support in 45 states

Thirty-one organizations signed a letter on Oct. 17 requesting members of the House and Senate appropriations committees and agriculture appropriations committees to fund the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), a farm bill program, in 2020.

Members of the committees will soon negotiate 2020 appropriations. In the letter, the organizations ask that Congress members stand up for RMAP and support rural communities by ensuring $6 million in appropriated funding remains available for RMAP.

From the desk of the executive director: the little program that could

Let me tell you a story. It’s a story of a little program called RMAP. Sounds wonky, right?

It’s the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, which is part of the larger farm bill. The story started a long time ago.

A Center study in the late 1980s showed a high rate of self-employment in rural areas, but few economic development strategies to help this sector. The more rural the area, the higher the rate of self-employment, the report documented. This research led us to expand our programs to serve small businesses.

Lending, technical assistance key for Nebraska's small rural businesses

As any first-time business owner will tell you, getting started isn’t easy. Take Lane and Melanie Seifert of ABC Blinds & Shades in Scottsbluff. As they transitioned into full-time ownership of their custom window coverings business, the couple faced big-time hurdles when it came to obtaining financing and learning the skills of managing and marketing for success.