Microbusiness Investment Credit Could Help WI Rural Communities
LA CROSSE, Wis. - In these tough times, it's not easy for a beginning farmer or a small rural business to get a loan from a bank to expand operations. One solution is being proposed in a bill introduced by LaCrosse U.S. Congressman Ron Kind. It would give a tax incentive to rural microbusinesses in economically distressed rural areas.
Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, approves of the idea.
"What's unique about this proposal is that it's focused on those smaller businesses and self-employed businesspeople, farmers and ranchers who have long been the backbone of our rural economy."
Hassebrook says it should work well for small rural businesses.
"To the extent that they increase their investment in the business over previous years, they get a tax credit or a tax reduction equal to 35 percent of that additional investment up to $10,000, so it's a pretty strong incentive."
It's all about a better future for rural America's small cities and towns, Hassebrook adds.
Microenterprise always has been a critical source of employment in most rural areas, but it's especially important during a recession, Hassebrook points out. During the last recession, employment grew in microenterprises and not among larger employers, he says.
"I've been working on rural issues for over 30 years, and one thing I've learned is that we can't sit around and wait for somebody - some big corporation - to come in and save us. If we're going to be strong economically in rural America, it's gonna be based on our own entrepreneurship."
A similar proposal in Nebraska, enacted at the state level in 2005, has worked very well, Hassebrook says. If passed, he expects this federal plan to help thousands of farmers, ranchers and small rural businesses nationwide.