On August 16th the Obama administration announced new incentives aimed at helping small businesses in the rural parts of the nation thrive in a challenging economic environment. These incentives will be spearheaded by the SBA and available to all rural small businesses and business startups regardless of the type of business.
Anybody who has lived in a rural area of the United States knows that the resources that are available to those living in the more populated urban and suburban areas aren’t available in the rural areas. Not only that, starting a business and making it thrive where there aren’t large population centers is sometimes even more challenging than other business. Finally, access to capital from rural banks is often times challenged.
The Obama Administration as well as the United States Small Business Association is aware of these challenges which is why new initiatives were announced to help with these challenges. According to Karen Mills, director of the SBA, 50% of all American citizens either own or work for a small business and two out of three private sector jobs are created by the large network of small businesses. Although the U.S. Government has offered various stimulus initiatives, they know that the road to economic recovery begins by enabling the nation’s small business community. In order to aid business startups throughout the nation, short and long term initiatives were announced.
First, over the next five years, the SBA will allocate $350 million solely to aid small business growth in rural areas. There will be no limitations on what kinds of businesses can access these funds other than size. An eligible business must fit the SBA’s definition of “small business.”
Second, the SBA will host events that will bring lenders and rural small business owners together in order to get credit flowing to rural businesses. This won’t just include funding for existing businesses but also venture capital funds for business startups. If you’re starting a business in rural America, you will soon have more capital available to you.
Last, this initiative will provide funds to rural hospitals and medical facilities to upgrade their computer technology.
The rural landscape includes a diverse business community from farms to technological hubs but without a established community of resources, these businesses fail to thrive, often lacking the resources they need.
If you own a rural business or are planning to form an LLC in a rural area, help is on the way. As these incentives become available, you will find more information at the Small Business Administration website.