WASHINGTON—Today, President Obama will announce investments to help rural small businesses expand and hire. Home to some of the most diligent and self-reliant Americans, rural communities and our nation’s agriculture industry are vital contributors to employment and exports from the United States. Strong and secure rural communities are essential to creating an economy built to last that rewards hard work and responsibility—not outsourcing, loopholes, and risky financial deals. While the security of the middle class has been threatened by the irresponsible financial collapse and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, rural Americans continue to come together to buckle down and make ends meet. The values that have helped hard-working, responsible families weather the storm continue to move our economy forward. As a result, while there is still work to do, a new report released today details the progress that has been made in the agricultural economy.
“As we continue to fight our way back from the deepest economic crisis in generations and build an economy that lasts, rural America is helping to lead the charge,” said President Obama. “On farms and ranches; in towns and communities across this country, rural Americans know that we are stronger as a people when everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. Those are the values we need to return to, and as long as I’m President, my Administration will continue to give our rural communities the support and investment they need to show us the way.”
Last August at the White House Rural Economic Forum, President Obama announced a new commitment to invest in rural businesses through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, at no cost to tax payers. Today, President Obama is announcing that more than $400 million has already been invested this fiscal year in these businesses through the Small Business Administration’s SBIC program, and that nearly $2 billion in additional funding will be invested by the end of fiscal year 2016. These investments will continue to help finance, grow, expand, and modernize rural small business operations across the country. The details of the locations, amounts and industries in which these dollars have been invested to date can be found HERE.
Additionally, the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House Rural Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are releasing a joint report today, which notes progress that has been made in the agricultural economy and details steps the Obama Administration has taken to help strengthen the farm economy and support jobs and growth in rural America. To read the full report, click HERE.
Highlights from the report include: