At the Center for Rural Affairs, two decades of rural economic development work in the Midwest and Great Plains has taught us that revitalizing rural communities and creating long-lasting economic opportunities begins with entrepreneurship and small business development.
Therefore, we were excited to see Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA) introduce the Rural Microbusiness Investment Credit Act on July 30. The legislation would provide a 35 percent refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 to start or expand owner-operated small businesses with five or fewer employees.
Entrepreneurial development is crucial to rural Iowa. About half the jobs created there over the last 15 years were created in firms with five or fewer employees. And during the last recession in 2002, employment in these small business firms grew by nearly 10 percent while larger firms were still shedding jobs.
Entrepreneurship and microenterprise development can again lead the nation along the road to economic recovery... if we are willing to invest in them.
A refund of taxes from previous years is an investment incentive that works for both new and established businesses, in both recession and recovery. Kind and Herger's legislation builds upon the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, established in the last Farm Bill, to make grants to organizations to provide loans, training and technical assistance to rural small business start-ups.
Together, these two investments can help rural America's small cities and towns create a better future for themselves and all of America.
The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities.