Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Trouble for Rural Entrepreneurs

Trouble for Rural Entrepreneurs in Federal Budget

By John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs, johnc@cfra.org

If Congress goes along with the President's proposed 2007 Small Business Administration budget, the SBA Microloan Program would be wiped out, totally. Eliminating this program would have dire consequences for entrepreneurs in rural America.

The program helps with start-up loans for businesses with fewer than 5 employees. The SBA Microloan Program plays a crucial role in rural economic development across the nation.

Nearly seventy percent of new rural jobs created over the last ten years where created in businesses with five or fewer employees. And the SBA Microloan program is one of the few that provides the assistance that these small, rural business need to get started.

The White House has also proposed severe cuts in two other programs that Nebraska rural communities depend on – Community Development Block Grants and Rural Businesses Enterprise Grants.

Without SBA microloans, these rural small businesses often cannot get started because many are overlooked by traditional lenders.

A vast majority of the start-up capital that these businesses use is from personal savings and credit cards. Decimating people's savings and maxing out credit cards to start up the businesses that are creating most of the jobs in rural communities is just bad public policy.

But it is not too late. You can stand up for your community and for rural entrepreneurship by contacting your Senators and your Representative and asking them to restore the funding for the SBA Microloan program.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

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