Investment During Difficult Times

When the Legislature convenes in November to balance the state's budget, it should spare the small business and rural development programs that have already taken deep cuts.
During this year's regular Legislative session, funding for key rural programs was cut by nearly half from a combined $2.85 million down to $1.5 million.  Programs that were cut include:

    * The Microenterprise Development Act which funds loans, training and technical assistance for businesses with up to five employees,

    * The Building Entrepreneurial Communities Act, which makes grants to small communities for business development, youth engagement and community foundations, and

    * The Value Added Agriculture Program, which makes grants to farmers and ranchers to develop new value added markets and products.

Fiscal restraint is needed in difficult times.  But these programs have already been cut deeply for deficit reduction.  Cutting them again would only undermine economic recover.

Large employers cut jobs during recessions.  It's small businesses that typically lead the state out of recession.  So it's the worst time to cut training, loans and technical assistance that small business need to be successful and help for farmers and ranchers to develop value added enterprises.  It is a critical time to maintain our investment in restoring economic vitality through small entrepreneurship.  

Nebraska invests heavily in economic development, providing $150 million every year in tax breaks to large businesses to create jobs primarily in our cities and trade centers.  Rural Nebraska should receive the same consideration.   So Legislators, please don't make rural Nebraska pay twice. 

Get The Newsletter?