You’ve heard of The Creative Class? Meet The New Rural Business Class
“Gone are the days when the local farmer was the mainstay of the community, as cheap imports and rising costs make traditional farming less and less viable. Rural business people – often former farmers themselves – have taken on the mantle, and are adapting to meet the demands of new consumer trends.”
Read the full profile in The Independent (UK)
[Photos of a rural business person, Jeanne Hepner, meeting new consumer trends with the Sage and Saddle B&B, in nearby Freedom, Oklahoma. ]
USA proposing new legislation by SBS Friend
Our Friends at the Center for Rural Affairs are supporting a new bill to provide financial and technical assistance to US entrepreneurs in rural areas. The bill was introduced by Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, patterned on the Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund.
“This program has been a success in Nebraska, but there is much more to be done and for that, we need federal support,” said Nelson. “My legislation will give entrepreneurs and microenterprises a leg up, creating new jobs and new economic opportunities. I’ve often said that when it comes to rural America, Washington just doesn’t get it. My bill will begin to address that problem.”
The proposed law would invest $50 million in microloans, grants for technical assistance like marketing, and providing support to organizations that support entrepreneurs. Read the story in the Southwest Nebraska News.
Idea: Rural Innovation Forum
Borrow this idea from the Loudoun County, Virginia, Department of Economic Development:
The third annual Forum for Rural Innovation will showcase ingenious ideas, projects or programs that enhance farm or rural business profitability conserve farm land and natural resources develop new approaches to rural prosperity.
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