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Recent posts by Johnathan Hladik

Rural communities tapped by craft breweries

Brewing beer is big business in the U.S. In 2016, this centuries-old practice generated $64 million in annual tax revenue and accounted for nearly 2 percent of Gross Domestic Product. Today, the beer industry employs more than 64,000 individuals nationwide.

These numbers are on the rise, especially when it comes to craft brewers. According to the Brewers Association, a craft brewer is small, independent, and traditional. Breweries that meet this definition have increased in number from 1,596, in 2009, to 5,234, in 2016.

Report: Generation and Delivery: The Economic Impact of Transmission Infrastructure in Rural Counties

Transmission projects announced during the last 10 years are now beginning to come online. Combined with new wind and solar installments, these projects have become important pieces of the economic puzzle in the rural Midwest and Great Plains. The significance of renewable energy to rural economic development is well understood, however, less is known about the impact of transmission development.

To explore this further, we teamed up with Timothy Collins, former assistant director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and a longtime rural development expert.

Smart policy creates sunny outlook

The Iowa legislature created the Iowa Solar Energy System Tax Credit in 2012. Designed to encourage local investment, the credit offsets up to 15 percent of the cost of a new installation. Legislators included limits of $5,000 per home or $20,000 per business to ensure accessibility.

This incentive led to 2,524 new solar projects between 2012 and 2016. The new installments are spread across the state, with at least one in 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties. In total, the $16.4 million provided by the solar tax incentive has generated $123,248,595 of private investment.

DACA recipients are stimulating small towns

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has provided hard-working young people and their families with a measure of stability. This policy protects individuals who came to this country as children from deportation and allows them to apply for employment authorization.

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