Related Rural Blog Posts
- Posted byon August 16, 2011 at 6:00 PM EDT
President Obama ended today's White House Rural Economic Forum feeling energized by the ideas he heard all day from small business owners, students, entrepreneurs, ranchers, farmers and clean energy companies. He told the crowd of 125 rural leaders at the Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa that the task of the entire nation "has to be to get behind what you’re doing; our task has to be making sure that nothing stands in your way, that we remove any obstacles to your success."
In addition to the President's opening and closing remarks, the day included breakout-sessions moderated by senior administration officials that covered topics ranging from initiatives on broadband access and renewable energy to job creation in small, rural towns nationwide. He told the crowd that his time on the road this week has underscored his deep confidence that the American people can put the nation’s economy back on track:
I am absolutely confident about our future. And I’m confident because I know that while we face serious challenges -- and there’s no sugarcoating that -- there’s not a nation on Earth that would not want to trade places with us. There’s nothing wrong with our country -- although there is some problems with our politics. That’s what we need to fix. That’s how we’re going to unlock the promise of America, and the incredible dynamism and creativity of our people.
And having a chance to meet with some of the men and women in this room have only made me feel more confident. I’m excited about the future that you’re working towards each and every day. And it ought to remind us of a simple lesson: It’s always a mistake to bet against America. It’s always a mistake to bet against the American worker. It’s always a mistake to bet against the American worker, the American farmer, the American small business owner, the American people.
- Posted byon August 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM EDT
Today, the President announced several important new initiatives to continue strengthening the rural economy and to create jobs in rural areas.
As part of the White House Rural Council’s efforts to improve federal government coordination on rural economic development, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been focused on rural small business growth. And for good reason: Half the people who work in America either own or work for a small business, and two out of three new private sector jobs are created by small businesses.
Many of these small businesses are in rural areas and we are making sure that they have the tools they need to grow, create jobs and drive the economy.
- Posted byon August 16, 2011 at 1:42 PM EDT
On the second day of his tour through rural America, President Obama participated in a Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa. He and members of his Cabinet joined a group of farmers, small business owners, private sector leaders, rural organizations and government officials to discuss ideas and initiatives that will spur job creation and economic innovation in small towns across the nation. In his opening remarks, the President announced several new initiatives that will promote economic growth in rural communities, including:
Helping Rural Small Businesses Access Capital
- Doubling SBA Investment Funds for Rural Small Businesses over the Next 5 Years: As part of the Startup America Initiative, the Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the creation of a $1 billion Impact Investment Fund through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program. The Impact Fund will invest in distressed areas as well as in emerging sectors such as clean energy. SBA provides up to a 2:1 match to private capital raised by this fund, partnering with private investors to target “impact” investments. SBA and USDA will partner together to drive $350 million of investment capital through the Impact Fund and existing SBICs into rural small businesses over the next five years, doubling the current rate of investment.
- Connecting Rural Small Businesses with Private Investment Capital: To further achieve this goal, SBA and USDA will launch a series of Rural Private Equity and Venture Capital conferences nationwide to provide a platform for connecting private equity and venture capital investors with rural start-ups. USDA, SBA, Treasury, Interior and other relevant agencies will also create rural capital “marketing teams” that pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors. These “marketing teams” will leverage existing personnel with expertise about rural funding sources across all federal departments and agencies.
- Posted byon August 16, 2011 at 1:03 PM EDT
The second stop on President Obama's tour of rural America was a town hall meeting in Decorah,Iowa, where he talked with 500 local citizens about how we can grow the economy and put people back to work. The crowd asked questions on topics ranging from reforming the tax code and the rights of unions to whether Congress is a good partner, and what the current Washington gridlock means for democracy.
The President addressed the frustration that many have expressed with the dysfunctional government in Washington and said he shares that feeling:
- Posted byon August 16, 2011 at 10:14 AM EDT
After a full day spent talking and listening to Americans at town halls in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and Decorah, Iowa yesterday, this morning the President's economic bus tour pulls into Peosta, Iowa for the White House Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College. President Obama and members of his Cabinet will meet with private sector leaders, farmers and small business owners to discuss ideas to grow the economy, accelerate hiring and spur innovation in small towns across the country.
The focus of the forum is how we can create good jobs that put more Americans back to work, and President Obama will announce new job initiatives for rural America that will do just that. The initiatives will include recommendations from the White House Rural Council that include helping small businesses in rural areas access capital, expanding rural job search and training services and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology.
Watch President Obama's opening remarks at 12:50 p.m. EDT and closing remarks at 3:30 p.m. EDT on WhiteHouse.gov/live to learn more about the President's plan to create jobs in small cities and towns across America.
- Posted byon August 15, 2011 at 6:15 PM EDT
During the first stop on his rural road trip, President Obama took questions on topics ranging from using renewable energy to create jobs and helping young farmers buy land and market their products effectively to the future of Social Security and his Administration’s plans to bolster education.
Speaking with a crowd of 500 people at Hannah’s Bend Park in Cannon Falls, MN, the President discussed the “extraordinary challenges” our nation has faced over the last two and a half years, but extolled the “extraordinary hope that America represents” around the world, and reiterated his belief that there is “nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed; what’s broken is our politics.”
Many of the questions focused on health care, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, and the President stressed his commitment to making sure we preserve the integrity of these programs while ensuring they are still in place for future generations: